News

El Carrito comes quietly

Mediterranean old town narrow streets are ideal for shopping excursions: Fashion stores stand alongside high-end boutiques and souvenir shops. But the medieval architects didn't take delivery traffic into account. Azkar DACHSER Group has therefore started a pilot project in Málaga—distributing packages by electric vehicles.

The electric vehicle can flexibly drive to all stores in the town center
The electric vehicle can flexibly drive to all stores in the town center

On the Iberian Peninsula, Azkar operates a groupage network featuring strictly defined standards and timed routes. But local conditions in a thousand-year-old coastal city like Málaga are impervious to modern logistics standards. “Flexible, unconventional methods are needed here so that we can achieve the maximum value for our customers in combination with our network,” explains Juan Quintana, Managing Director Iberia at DACHSER.

The modern beast of burden plugs into the power outlet

After all, 14 percent of all stores in Málaga are located in the old quarter. The pedestrian zone, which has access restrictions and fixed delivery time slots, is large. This is a challenge for shop-keepers and logistics providers because customers in the town center still expect their shelves to be well-stocked at all times. For that reason, Málaga’s city government is the first municipality in Spain to start the "City Center Ecological Distribution" project, which involves transporting goods to customers by electric vehicles. Barely going 7 km/h when fully loaded but having a turning radius of only 1.65 m, “El Carrito”—like a beast of burden from the past—moves quietly and nimbly through Málaga’s old town lanes.

Barely going 7 km/h when fully loaded but having a turning radius of only 1.65 m, “El Carrito”—like a beast of burden from the past—moves quietly and nimbly through Málaga’s old town lanes

The vehicle, traveling under DACHSER’s colors, finds shelter at night in an underground garage where it’s plugged into a power outlet as needed to refuel for the next workday. That's not necessary every day because the 48 V battery powers El Carrito for 72 hours. A short-haul shuttle then brings replenishments early in the morning from the local Azkar branch. From there, the merchandise is transferred to the electric car for Málaga’s downtown. A small, secured shed, in which the merchandise can be stored, provides additional flexibility.

No street is too small for the electric car, which draws the attention of the word-wide tourist community visiting Málaga
No street is too small for the electric car, which draws the attention of the word-wide tourist community visiting Málaga

Pilot project for specific demands

“Enough time has now passed to see that “El Carrito” has proven itself,” explains Francisco Utrera, branch manager in Málaga at Azkar DACHSER Group. “Of course, the load capacity is limited, and we need a shuttle to the branch office. At the same time, we can flexibly drive to all stores in the town center using the electric vehicle; our customers in the fashion industry appre-ciate that.”

And of course the extra publicity isn't bad either, when that unusual electric car draws the atten-tion of the worldwide tourist community: Five days a week, twelve hours a day.

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