Thursday, September 14, 2017

La Tricyclerie - the circular economy, à la pédale

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #30

Photo Credit: Charlotte Goislot
La Tricyclerie is an initiative based in Nantes, France, which collects organic waste from local businesses on cargo tricycles and bike trailers. The waste, which comes from 30 restaurants in three Nantes neighbourhoods, is collected by a team of volunteers. Twice-weekly collections add up to an estimated 20 tons annually, which is taken to local composting facilities. All collections are weighed, with the business or restaurant’s contribution tracked.

The businesses are provided with buckets in which to collect their waste. The resulting compost is redistributed to urban gardens and green spaces, as well as peri-urban farms. The scheme also aims to raise awareness of food waste and to give local residents access to the composted material for community projects.
Collections are weighed, then loaded into the trailer.
Photo credit: Charlotte Goislot
The initiative is the brainchild of Coline Billon, a local Environmental Engineer who founded La Tricyclerie in 2015, on her return to Nantes from time spent in Peru. It was there, at the 2014 COP20 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, that she was inspired to become involved in ecological innovation back home.

Billon has ambitious plans; by 2018 she plans to collect 30 tons of waste annually, double the number of restaurants involved and develop a network of farmers who would benefit from the compost. There are currently 15 people in the organisation, three of whom are paid. Expansion outside of Nantes is also on the agenda; Billon plans to develop a framework for supporting those who want to imitate the initiative in their own cities.
Image credit: Julie Boiveau
Billon was recently shortlisted in the UN’s Young Champions of the Earth competition, in which La Tricyclerie could win $15.000 in funding. Results will be announced at the end of September 2017.

We’ve covered initiatives involving the circular economy, food, outreach programmes and cargo bikes before on RIPPL; Gruten in Oslo and the Food Rescue movement in Colorado.

Innovations: Circular Economy

Organisation: La Tricyclerie
City: Nantes
Country: France
Basis: Permanent
Website: www.latricyclerie.fr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/latricyclerie/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Latricyclerie
Contact: latricyclerie@gmail.com

Sources:
Ling Magazine: “La Tricyclerie, or how to recycle while you exercise”
Canal+ Detours: “A Nantes, elle recycle les déchets en pédalant” (French)
Nantes Metropole: “La Tricyclerie recycle les épluchures et séduit les Nations Unies” (French)
Ouest-France: “Nantes. La Tricyclerie sélectionnée aux Nations Unies : votez pour eux” (French)
Say-Yess.com “Collecte de compost: roulez jeunesse!” (French)
France Inter: “Quinze restaurants de Nantes trient leurs poubelles pour qu’elles soient transformées en compost pour les jardins ou les fermes alentour” (French)
helloasso "La Tricyclerie)" (French)
20 Minutes: "Nantes: La Tricyclerie collecte les déchets organiques des restos à vélo" (French)
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

PAZTIR - chasing efficiency in the time, management and security domains

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #29
A PAZTIR-enabled Douze Cycles, squaring up against water-borne competition
at this year's International Cargo Bike Festival. Photo credit: Tom Parr
How can cycle logistics operators become more efficient? How can they prevent theft? How can they better control their operations? PAZTIR is a system that aims to address all of these questions. Appropriately enough since the system protects and provides oversight, the name Paztir means shepherd in Slavic languages (for those interested in etymology, it comes from the same origin as the English word ‘pastor’).


Andrej Sobotkiewicz and Nerina Corbadzic, two of the four co-founders (the others are Jure Vizintin and Jurij Celesnik) have a background in “Lock and Charge” systems. These cables, which simultaneously provide power and security, were initially being developed by Andrej and Nerina for e-bike sharing applications. However, their PAZTIR system is specifically designed for cycle logistics. PAZTIR was developed with the support of World Startup Factory, a business incubator in Den Haag/The Hague in The Netherlands which provided office space, connections to investors and technical expertise.
The video above briefly demonstrates how the PAZTIR system works from a user’s point of view, but there’s more to it than this. Uniquely, locking and an alarm are combined with GPS and management features; it:

  • Locks - allows quick locking and unlocking of both the rear wheel lock and the box at the same time. This is done using a remote, wrist-mounted key which is assigned to the user, via a smartphone app, or remotely via a secure web app.
  • Guards - there is an alarm which goes off if the bike is tampered with whilst locked.
  • Communicates - GPS coordinates and status of the alarm, locks and battery is sent to the cloud, and from there to the logistics company’s management software (the data sent can be configured with an API).


Why does this matter though, to logistics operators? It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine a situation in which it would be useful to know who opened a box, when, where and how. Packages can be tracked in real time. The GPS data can even integrate with software that plans and optimises routes.
A propotype of the wrist-mounted key. Following feedback from the pilot
schemes, this design may change. Photo credit: Tom Parr
Nerina and Andrej calculated that it takes around 15 seconds to lock a cargo bike and box, plus another 10 seconds to unlock. That doesn’t sound like a lot in isolation, but for operations where couriers have to make perhaps 50-100 stops per day for collections or deliveries, they estimated that the PAZTIR system could save around 40 minutes with a more efficient method of locking and unlocking.

A related problem is that of couriers not locking their bikes and boxes. This is especially an issue for those couriers who are paid per delivery; unintended consequences of this pay structure can be that riders are motivated more by efficiency than by security. So it follows that a system that makes it easier and quicker to lock the box could reduce couriers’ motivation to take such risks.
The PAZTIR system. Image credit: PAZTIR
“There are more bikes in cities and more organisations are using them for logistics.” says Andrej, who has received feedback from operators that reflects changing attitudes from some interesting quarters. “Online shopping means that a more of the packages being delivered are more valuable, so actually it’s online retailers who are demanding more security from their couriers.”

This leads Andrej to further thoughts about possible future trends in cycle logistics: “Insurance companies haven’t caught up yet, but we think they will when they see these trends and realise that there are ways of reducing the risks involved. Perhaps in the future, operators will be able to get cheaper insurance if they can prove they are using a secure system; perhaps there is even a role for certification”.
Above and below: The hardware. Photo credits: Tom Parr

For now, the PAZTIR system is in a piloting phase; Andrej and Nerina are rolling out pilot schemes first of all in order to get real life feedback. These are with Dutch cycle couriers Cycloon, Dutch cargo bike manufacturers Babboe and German cargo bike manufacturers Radkutsche, amongst others. Once complete, there will be another round of pilots and refinements with the aim to go into production in 2018.

Innovations: Internet of Things, efficiency, management, security

Organisation: PAZTIR
Sector: Commercial
Country: Slovenia, Italy and The Netherlands
Bike Manufacturer(s): Douze Cycles, Radkutsche, Babboe
Basis: Permanent - currently in pilot phase
Website: www.paztir.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paztir/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/paztir
Contact: info@paztir.com

Sources:
World Startup Factory: “Startup Updates in April”
Lock&Charge “Ready for Growth”

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Box Bike Helsinki - What would cargo bikes look like if designed by urban teens?

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #28

Answer: It would look like this. Photo credit: Teemu Saloriutta/Box Bike Helsinki
Bike Box Helsinki was a project run by the Nature League of Finland (LUPPI) in which young people were invited to design and build a cargo bike. The idea for the project stemmed from the question: what would cargo bikes look like if designed by urban teens? Cargo bikes are generally designed by adults, for adults, after all. What design features would a cargo bike have, if it was designed by teenagers, for teenagers, to fulfil the differing needs they have in their lives? Where do they go? How often? What do they need to carry? Possibly most importantly, how should it look?

Following a competition in 2015, a group of six 13-20 year olds was invited to take part in weekly design sessions, guided by mentors. Designing gave way to building and the group gained practical and teamwork skills. As part of the program, these skills were reinforced by bike maintenance classes given to the group, setting the teens up for a lifetime of tinkering with bikes.
Photo credit: Box Bike Helsinki
By engaging young people in the whole process of designing and building a cargo bike, LUPPI hoped to encourage the group to think about using sustainable forms of transport and to consider the possibility that a bicycle could provide for their daily transportation needs.

The finished cargo trike was unveiled at the end of November 2016. It was donated to the youth centre where the group of youngsters regularly meet up. Should they have a need to use it, the trike is available to the teens and their peers at the centre to borrow.
A teenager's ideal cargo bike also features solar panels and a sound
system. Photo credits: Roope Niemi, Straightforward Photography
Innovations: community, DIY build

Organisation: LUPPI (Nature League of Finland)
Sector: Voluntary
City: Helsinki
Country: Finland
Basis: One-off project
Website: http://www.luppi.fi/boxbikehelsinki/eng/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/boxbikehelsinki
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoxBikeHelsinki

Sources:
Momentum Mag: “Box Bike Helsinki”
Bike Citizens: “Box Bike Helsinki: Cargo Bikes Made by Youngsters”
munstadi.fi “Mikä ihmeen Boss Bike?” (Finnish)
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Velove and Pling Transport - Pedal-Powered Logistics: exactly how energy efficient?

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #27

A Velove Armadillo in Pling Transport livery. Photo credit: Velove

The Armadillo is a unique vehicle. It's perhaps best to leave it to Swedish manufacturers Velove to provide a succinct description:
“a four wheel, fully suspended cargo cycle . . . Somebody called it a ‘mix of gokart, bike and van’, which we think pretty much nails it!”
The Armadillo is growing in popularity; in the last couple of years it has been adopted by a growing number of logistics operators across three continents, notably DHL who trialled it in Utrecht and Frankfurt.

One of Velove’s claims is that the Armadillo is extremely efficient; in terms of space, energy and resources used to manufacture it. To test their claims in one of these areas, namely energy efficiency, Velove teamed up with Gothenburg-based cycle logistics operator Pling Transport to run some research funded by the Swedish Energy Agency. Together, they ran a series of A-B tests in March 2017 to compare the efficiency of the Armadillo and a small electric van.
Five of Pling's regular routes, used for A-B testing. Image credit: Pling Transport
The results were very clear. The Armadillo was by far the most efficient, using just 6% of the electrical energy used by a standard Nissan e-NV200 with a similar load.

Measurements were taken on the actual amount of energy consumed whilst charging the batteries of both vehicles. Velove and Pling speculated that the following factors contributed to the results:
  • Weight difference: the Nissan was 17 times heavier than the Armadillo (this factor also has implications for resource efficiency)
  • Start-stop traffic adversely affecting the battery life of the Nissan
  • Charging losses and energy constantly being drawn whether the Nissan is driving or not
The Armadillo - according to the research, more efficient by a factor of 15. Image credit: Velove
Of course as demonstrated above, the vehicles weren't taking the exact same routes either - they took slightly different routes, but overall the distances taken were very similar. In practice however, the more nimble Armadillo would in many cities be able to take shorter routes in the dense urban landscape. Another factor could be the contribution provided by pedal-power to the Armadillo; a contribution fuelled, naturally, by food. The scope of the research didn’t stretch to evaluating what the couriers had had for breakfast (that would have made the research much more complicated), but it is true that energy from food would have contributed somewhat. An idea to include for future research perhaps, and it’s worth noting that Velove do tackle this point on their website:
“Some people argue that muscle powered transport is inefficient, as it is fuelled by food and there are a lot of energy losses when producing food and transforming it to muscle power. In one sense that is true, but on the other hand we all need exercise anyway to stay healthy. If you ride in a car or a van, you need to get the exercise some other way, which will most likely not produce useful energy, as transporting yourself and/or cargo.”

For full reports on the research, see the links to Velove and Pling Transport’s reports in the ‘Sources’ section below.

Pling and MaaS
Lastly, a note about Pling, who not only use the Armadillo for transporting goods, but also to provide a taxi service to the people of Gothenburg. The only example we at RIPPL know of a pedal powered articulated trailer providing Mobility as a Service.
Photo credit: Pling Transport
Innovations: efficiency, emissions reduction, MaaS

Organisation: Velove and Pling Transport
Sector: Commercial
City: Gothernburg
Country: Sweden
Bike Manufacturer: Velove
Basis: Permanent
Website: http://velove.se http://plingtransport.se
Facebook: Velove FacebookPling Transport Facebook
Twitter: Velove TwitterPling Transport Twitter
Contact: info@velove.se or info@plingtransport.se

Sources:
International Cargo Bike Festival: "Fietskoeriers bij DHL" (Dutch)
Velove: "The Armadillo cargo bike use 6 % of the electricity of a small electric van"
Pling Transport: "Elassisterad lastcykel 15 gånger energieffektivare än elskåpbil" (Swedish)
Pling Transport - Youtube: "Cargo bikes replacing van and truck deliveries" (Swedish, subtitled)
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Friday, September 1, 2017

TINK - Affordable Cargo Bike Sharing in Germany

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #26

TINK Cargo Bikes in Norderstedt. Photo credit: Andreas Burgmayer
TINK, or (Transportrad Initiative Nachhaltiger Kommunen - Cargo bike Initiative of Sustainable Communities), is a cargo bike sharing initiative based in two German cities. 24 cargo bikes and trikes have been made available to members of the public in the northern city of Norderstedt, whilst in the south 24 more are available in the University town of Konstanz. The two cities were chosen for the project because of the already high levels of cycling there.

Having begun in summer 2016, TINK is initially a 2-year pilot project and is part of the National Cycling Plan 2020 (NRVP). Funding mostly comes from the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), with a small amount coming from the two municipalities. The scheme will be monitored and data analysed by partner teams of mobility experts and environmental psychologists.
The opening ceremony of the scheme in Konstanz. Photo credit: Stadt Konstanz
Registration is free for users, as is the first 30 minutes of use. After this the costs kick in, although they are minimal: it’s €1 for every 30mins, up to a maximum of €9 per 24 hour period. Cargo bikes can be rented at one on-street hire station and left at another, without penalty. The bikes are unlocked with a code sent to the user via a smartphone app, SMS, telephone hotline or on the website. Frequent users can buy an electronic chip key for €5.

In Konstanz, the initial aim was to have 1,500 users after two years; this had been surpassed after only six months, with 1,744 users already having signed up for the service. In Norderstedt the service is run by bike sharing company Nextbike and in Konstanz by fahrradspezialitaeten.com.
TINK bikes on TOUR. Photo Credit: TINK
The scheme is being promoted in novel ways. A fake bank robbery carried out, naturally, by cargo bike was covered by German press and caught the attention of Guerilla Marketing gurus. No less conventional, but perhaps more ambitious, was TINK Project Leader Marco Walter and colleague Nathalie Niekisch's effort. Together they embarked on a 14-day, 1,000km ride from Konstanz to Norderstedt dubbed “TINK on TOUR”, using cargo bikes from the scheme. This occured in November of 2016; a strong demonstration that cargo bikes are suitable for heavy use all year round. On the way they stopped in ten cities (Karlsruhe, Mannheim, Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Mainz, Wiesbaden, Marburg, Kassel, Hanover and Hamburg) and held information sessions explaining the scheme to the municipalities and other interested parties. A full report on the tour is available here in German (link opens pdf). 


The municipalities of Konstanz and Norderstedt will take ownership of the bikes after the pilot and are already making arrangements for the service to continue beyond the 2 years. The concept is likely to be rolled out to other German cities following the trial period.
A Norderstedt resident making good use of a cargo bike from the scheme. Photo credit: TINK
Innovations: Sharing, Public Sector involvement as a catalyst

Organisation: TINK
Sector: Government
City: Konstanz and Norderstedt
Country: Germany
Bike Manufacturer(s): Bakfiets.nl
Basis: Pilot
Website: http://tink.bike/cms/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tink.bike/

Sources:
Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik - Fahrradportal: "TINK - Transportrad Initiative nachhaltiger Kommunen" (German)
Hamburger Abendblatt: “Norderstedt startet großes Transport-Radsystem” (German)
SÜDKURIER: “Mietbare Lastenräder sind ein Erfolg in Konstanz” (German)
shz.de “30 Minuten kostenlos: Norderstedt vermietet Lastenräder per App” (German)
TINK: “”TINK on TOUR” (German)(opens pdf)
Stadt Konstanz: “Sprudel-Sprinter und Hörnle-Hopper: Konstanz startet TINK Transportrad-Mietsystem” (German)(opens pdf)
Stadt Norderstedt: “Stadt Norderstedt startet größtes Mietsystem für Transport-Fahrräder in Deutschland” (German)(opens pdf)
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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Food Justice by bike in Colorado and beyond

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #25

Photo credit: Boulder Food Rescue
Denver and Boulder, two American cities about 50km apart, are nestled at the feet of the Rocky mountains in Colorado. They have plenty in common, even in terms of cycling culture; for example, both cities host regular ‘Cruiser Rides’ which look like great fun (check them out here Denver Cruiser Ride, and here Boulder Cruiser Ride).

The two cities are also home to Food Rescue organisations Denver Food Rescue and Boulder Food Rescue, both of which use volunteer-ridden bikes with trailers to collect food which would otherwise be discarded from grocery stores. The same trailer bikes then deliver the food to projects which distribute free groceries to people on low-incomes.
A convoy of volunteers on the move in Denver. Photo credit: Denver Food Rescue
The model is different to the many food banks that distribute food; Food Rescue is about taking food from the source directly to the destination without a consolidation step in between. Doing it this way means that distribution of fresh, perishable food such as fruit and vegetables is possible, rather than only tinned or packaged food. It’s also a more affordable way of running an organisation, effectively eliminating the costs associated with running a consolidation centre.

This in turn allows those on low incomes access to the superior nutrition provided by fresh produce. The central idea behind food justice is that giving everyone access to good quality food will lead to favourable and more equitable social outcomes. Nationally, levels of food waste in the US are staggering; estimates range between 30 and 50%, depending upon the source. USDA aims to halve the amount of wasted food by 2030.


Against this backdrop, the Food Rescue concept appears to be spreading, with initiatives popping up neighbouring towns in Colorado and as far-afield as Wyoming and Seattle (some of which were set up by former Denver and Boulder volunteers). In response, Boulder Food Rescue has set up the Food Rescue Alliance, a peer learning network which aims to provide free support to start-up initiatives focusing on food waste. The Food Rescue Alliance also organises annual “un-conferences” on food justice and has developed the Food Rescue Robot, a web application that helps food rescue groups to keep track of all of the tasks required to run a food rescue initiative.
Volunteers use normal bikes to tow the trailers. Photo credit: Boulder Food Rescue
The use of bikes to carry out these operations is central to both the Boulder and Denver initiatives’ overall philosophies. Sustainability in the form of use of non-motorised transport (where possible) as well as reduction of food waste is a stated aim. Some of the neighbourhoods served by the initiatives are amongst the most polluted in the country; using bikes also ensures that operations don’t contribute to this pollution. Denver Food Rescue estimates that they saved 8 tons in CO2 emissions in 2016, just by using bikes.

Boulder Food Rescue estimates that 80% of their transport is carried out by bike. Even offshoot initiative Colorado Springs Food Rescue, operating in a city with a significant urban sprawl, manage 50% of their deliveries by bike. These figures are high for American cities in which so coverage of cycling infrastructure is patchy at best. Although in general Colorado is seen as fairly progressive when it comes to provision of cycling infrastructure, it is for the most part currently still at an early stage of development. Like many car-dominated cities at similar stages, it is therefore thought of by many as a hostile environment in which to ride a bike.
Denver Food Rescue volunteers prepare a load. Photo credit: Denver Food Rescue
The use of cargo bikes for community-based initiatives seems to be a growing trend in the last few years in North America. Another great example is the Disaster Relief Trials which we’ve written about previously. These initiatives also touch on the trends of Food and Waste in cycle logistics.

Organisation: Denver Food Rescue and Boulder Food Rescue
Sector: Voluntary
City: Boulder and Denver, Colorado
Country: USA
Basis: Permanent
Website: https://denverfoodrescue.orghttps://www.boulderfoodrescue.org
Facebook: Denver Food Rescue FacebookBoulder Food Rescue Facebook
Twitter: Denver Food Rescue TwitterBoulder Food Rescue Twitter

Sources:
Denver Food Rescue Annual Report 2016 (opens pdf)
Urban Conversion: "How to Start Your Own Food Rescue"
Urban Conversion: "Boulder Food Rescue – A Catalyst for Change"
Westword: “Food Rescue Ride Connects Denver Communities With Free, Fresh Produce”
The Atlantic: “Why Americans Lead the World in Food Waste”
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA): “U.S. Food Waste Challenge / FAQ's”
Ultra Fifty Two Eighty: “A Great Cause In Your Backyard | Denver Food Rescue”
The Fill: “How Denver Food Rescue is Reducing Food Waste One Pedal at a Time”
CBS Denver: “Cyclists Rescue Produce For Those In Need”
The Huffington Post: “Boulder Food Rescue: From Passion To Impact, Redefining Food Systems”
City of Boulder, Colorado: “City partners with Boulder Food Rescue to evaluate food waste in Boulder”

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Monday, August 21, 2017

You've got e-(Bike)-mail...

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #24

Croation Postal Workers try out their new e-bikes. Photo credit: Pro-e-bike
Although the use of bicycles for mail delivery is not a new thing, the growing popularity of e-bikes coupled with the fact that many postal services are now carried out by petrol-powered vehicles, arguably makes their reintroduction innovative once more.

It was with this in mind back in 2015 that the Croation Post Office - Hrvatska pošta - trialled the replacement of 180 petrol-powered mopeds with e-bikes. The results were clear: savings of around €920, or 85% per vehicle per year, plus a total annual reduction in CO2 emissions of 100 tonnes compared to using mopeds. Positive feedback was also received from the delivery workers using the e-bikes. In fact, the pilot was so successful that Hrvatska pošta decided to buy 180 new e-bikes before the 6-month trial period was even over, and they were unveiled by Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanović.
Photo credit: mppi.hr
The scheme was one of a series of 30 pilots run by the EU-funded Pro-E-Bike project, which aimed to promote:
“electric bicycles and electric scooters (E -bikes), for delivery of goods and passenger transport among private and public bodies such as delivery companies, public administration and citizens in European urban areas as an alternative to "conventionally fossil fuelled" vehicles”.
In this case, the EU project co-funded the purchase of the e-bikes.
Royal Mail Postal workers on bikes: now a thing of the past. Photo credit: TheEgyptian
Hrvatska pošta’s switch to e-bikes came at roughly the same time as the UK’s Royal Mail decided to go in the opposite direction, citing concerns over safety. Royal Mail have now mothballed a bicycle fleet which was at one point the largest in the world and which dated back to the late 1800s. Encouragingly though, the trend amongst postal services elsewhere seems to be going the other way, with even TNT, their direct rivals for UK postal services, developing a bicycle fleet.

Meanwhile over the English Channel, France’s La Poste is building on it’s own history, having used bikes for deliveries since 1893. Their service already uses 20,000 e-bikes and there are plans to increase this number to 28,000; allowing numbers of petrol-powered mopeds to be reduced from 10,000 to 6,500. Over in The Netherlands, mail service PostNL has replaced 100 routinely taken car journeys in central Amsterdam with 60 e-bikes and a network of inner-city bike transfer points.

Innovations: e-bikes

Organisation: Hrvatska pošta
Sector: Government
Country: Croatia
Basis: Initially a pilot; now permanent
Website: https://www.posta.hr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HrvatskaPosta
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hrvatskaposta
Contact: info@posta.hr

Sources:
Hrvatska pošta: “180 postmen deliver on electric bicycles (instead of mopeds)"
European Cyclists' Federation: "A New Move for Business in EU Cities"
Eltis: “Procuring e-bikes for cleaner postal deliveries in Croatia”
Ministarstvo Pomorstva, Prometa I Infrastrukture: "S prvih 180 električnih bicikala poštari Hrvatske pošte kreću u dostavu pošiljaka" (Croatian)
Večernji list doo: “Poštari na struju: Od rujna pošiljke će dostavljati biciklom na električni pogon” (Croatian)
Postel 2017: “Impact of Transport Means in Postal Traffic on Environment” (Katarina Mostarac, Zvonko Kavran, Estera Rakić, Žarko Barlović) (opens pdf)
The Guardian: "Royal Mail to phase out post bikes completely in 2014"
Museum of Tradesman's Delivery Bikes "1983 Pashley Post Office Bicycle / History of Post Office Bicycles"
La Tribune: “Vélo, nouveau moteur éco (3/4): La Poste et le vélo... toute une histoire!" (French)


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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Consolidation Down Under: Sydney's CBD cycle logistics hub

Register of Initiatives in Pedal Powered Logistics - RIPPL #23

Photo credit: TfNSW

Major infrastructure upgrades in Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD) have prompted State and Municipal authorities there to begin experimenting with promoting cycle logistics. Construction of a light rail line, upgrades and work on Central Station and the main ferry hub, and several large construction projects in central areas are causing disruption and changes to normal traffic flows. Perhaps traffic ‘flow’ isn’t the best term to describe traffic conditions which are, even at the best of times in this car-addicted city, congested to say the least. The average speed of vehicles in Sydney is said to be the worst in Australasia, and that was before the current disruption in the CBD.

In response, authorities have set up a cycle-logistics consolidation hub in a car park on the southern edge of the CBD. The project is a collaboration between Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW)(the State Government transport authority) and the City of Sydney (CoS)(the municipal authority covering the centre of Sydney). CoS owns the car park and TfNSW provided the cages and infrastructure. Several logistics companies are participating in the scheme, which began in early 2016.
The consolidation hub is located on the southern edge of the CBD.
The rationale behind the hub’s location is that it will allow last-mile deliveries to be made by bike, eliminating at least a portion of the CBD vehicle movements which would otherwise occur. Goods destined for the CBD are delivered by van to the hub and then loaded from off-street parking bays into secure cages. Bike couriers are then able to access these cages to collect and then deliver the goods to their final destinations. TfNSW estimates that at full capacity, the hub could reduce pressure on central loading bays by 4,600 hours (dwell time) per year and that 26,000 fewer kms would need to be driven in the CBD as a result.
Delivery vans unload goods into the cages from off street parking bays
It’s worth noting that this consolidation hub is different from those we’ve covered before in RIPPL; although it is on the edge of the CBD, it is still well within the city and in fact occupies a very central location. Outspoken in Cambridge or Foodlogica in Amsterdam, for example, are on the fringes of their respective cities and prevent vehicles from needing to enter urban centres altogether. In a sprawl city such as Sydney it could be argued that this is less practical, and in any case this project aims to have an impact on the CBD alone.

In order to test out the efficacy of the system, TfNSW ran side-by-side tests of delivery vans and bikes as they carried out 10 deliveries. The results were clear. Because bikes could travel via more direct routes, they travelled a third fewer kilometres than the vans. Bikes also took less than half the time to complete their rounds. Meanwhile, vans spent three times as long parked up compared to bikes. What’s more, whilst bike couriers hardly needed to walk at all, van drivers found themselves walking approximately a third of their total distance, all whilst their vehicle was parked up - it’s easier than driving around looking for a space.
Several logistics companies are using the facility. Photo credit: TfNSW
The scheme is an example of public-sector involvement in encouraging cycle-logistics, a trend we’ve covered before in RIPPL articles. It's a rare and welcome positive development for a NSW State Government which is not exactly renowned for cooperation with the progressive cycling policies of it's municipal City of Sydney counterparts. The Goulburn Street hub is not alone in Australia; a recent redevelopment of the Queen Victoria marketplaces in Melbourne set aside space for consolidation of last kilometre freight.

Innovations: Consolidation, Public Sector Involvement

Organisation: Transport for New South Wales / City of Sydney
Sector: State and Municipal Government
City: Sydney
Country: Australia
Basis: Permanent


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