DACHSER Karlsruhe starts making deliveries by cargo bike
Effective immediately, DACHSER’s Karlsruhe logistics center is deploying pedelecs for city-center deliveries. This move by the logistics provider is a response to environmental issues such as air quality, but also to the increasing number of traffic jams and construction zones that make it difficult to deliver to city centers with conventional trucks.
As of December 3, 2018, DACHSER’s Karlsruhe logistics center will be bringing packages to destinations in the city center using electrically supported cargo bikes, or pedelecs, sporting DACHSER’s usual blue and yellow. Each pedelec offers a euro pallet’s worth of space up to 1.4 meters in height and can carry up to 250 kilograms. Even if size and weight issues mean that the pedelec cannot handle some packages, DACHSER is addressing the trend towards smaller and smaller shipment sizes driven by shorter ordering cycles, which are themselves the result of space shortages in city centers.
Karlsruhe is currently the only major city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg that has not exceeded any pollution limits and is thus not considering any bans on diesel vehicles. “Nevertheless, DACHSER Karlsruhe is opting to make deliveries with electrically supported cargo bikes to help improve air quality, particularly in the city center,” explains Bernd Großmann, General Manager of DACHSER’s Karlsruhe logistics center. He continues: “This means of transport represents an innovative and above all eco-friendly way to make deliveries.” In addition, the pedelec makes it possible to get around traffic jams and reach places motorized vehicles can’t enter.
Collaborating on the project with DACHSER Karlsruhe is a local bike courier company as well as a bike manufacturer that customized the pedelec to DACHSER specifications. The partnership with the courier is made possible by the City Initiative Karlsruhe (CIK). CIK is an umbrella organization that brings together Karlsruhe companies in the retail, gastronomy, hospitality, handicraft, service, and media sectors, plus cultural institutions and recreational facilities.
The downtown warehouse (microhub) will be located on the courier’s premises to begin with. Further plans include expanding the fleet with other bicycles, currently in development, that can handle larger shipments or even volumes equal to two pallets.
Electrically supported cargo bikes
DACHSER has already rolled out electrically supported cargo bikes in the German cities of Freiburg, Tübingen, and Stuttgart. The City Distribution innovation project, in which DACHSER’s Karlsruhe logistics center is taking part, is putting together a toolbox of solutions for sustainable and innovative delivery in light of increasing traffic challenges. Depending on its particular requirements, a DACHSER branch can draw on various actions from the toolbox to create a tailored solution for its own delivery area.