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DACHSER Cologne starts deliveries with electrically assisted cargo bikes

DACHSER’s Cologne logistics center has started deploying pedelecs for city-center deliveries. In addition to helping improve air quality, this move by the logistics provider is a response to the increasing number of driving restrictions, traffic jams, and construction zones that make it difficult to deliver to city centers with conventional trucks. Driving restrictions are due to come into force in Cologne’s low-emission zone on April 1, 2019.
Daniel Kopf from Velocarrier; Oliver Hesse, Operations Manager National, DACHSER Cologne; Alexander Haak, General Manager, DACHSER Cologne, Yuichi Soga, Team Leader Short Distance, DACHSER Cologne.

Recently an electrically assisted cargo bike in DACHSER’s typical blue and yellow livery has been making its way around Cologne city center. The rear container is two meters high, allowing for a load of up to 250 kilograms. The pedelec can use all paths where bicycles are permitted, plus certain pedestrian zones where they are admitted throughout the day. Every morning at what is known as the microhub, a warehouse near the city center, trucks from DACHSER’s Cologne branch supply the shipments for the day. These are then delivered, bit by bit, using the pedelec.

“Our experience so far has been extremely positive, as has the feedback from our customers,” says Alexander Haak, General Manager of DACHSER Cologne. “In the long term, we plan to operate even more electrically assisted cargo bikes and, and we will also use electric trucks for zero-emissions deliveries to the microhub. It’s not possible to use the bike for every shipment, of course, but in combination with a balanced vehicle mix, we see it as a great and in particular an eco-friendly alternative.”

The City of Cologne attaches great importance to sustainable urban concepts, as Andrea Blome, Councillor for Mobility and Traffic Infrastructure, explains: “Levels of city center delivery traffic have been on the rise for years, which is why alternative logistics concepts are now and will continue to be more important than ever. This situation prompted the City of Cologne to subsidize purchases of cargo bikes as part of a pilot project starting in January 2019. And now we see a global company taking the same initiative and setting a positive example in Cologne—yet more evidence that business is keen to step up the use of cargo bikes.

Bike specialist veloCARRIER is a cooperation partner in the project; together with DACHSER it has already brought cargo bikes to the streets of Freiburg, Stuttgart, and Tübingen. “Cologne’s large pedestrian zone makes the city a perfect candidate for pedelecs to serve the last mile of the delivery route,” says Raimund Rassillier, Managing Director of veloCARRIER. “Working in collaboration with DACHSER, veloCARRIER is playing a major role in helping to make goods deliveries sustainable—a serious challenge that presents ever-greater hurdles to overcome.”

The City Distribution innovation project, in which DACHSER’s Cologne 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.

Iberia: A sustainable project for city distribution

In Iberia, DACHSER is also betting strongly on innovation and sustainability in urban distribution. DACHSER Iberia closed 2018 with the first anniversary of the implementation of the hybrid vehicle in Madrid, a Canter Eco Hybrid 7C15 FUSO with a capacity of 7.5 tons and distinguished with the ECO category. This allows deliveries to the center during the restrictions due to the high levels of pollution at the city. This initiative allows the vehicle to circulate through areas such as Gran Vía and Puerta del Sol. In this way, DACHSER Iberia continues working on its firm commitment to the necessary reduction of CO2 emissions in the city.

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