Picking up a package by bicycle and traveling the last few miles to the recipient is not only greener than using a delivery truck, but also often faster, according to new research.
As online shopping has been boosted, urban vans take up more ground, and unless the efficiency of getting goods to people improves, the number of urban delivery vehicles drops to 36% by 2030. Up to 9,500 people die every year in London from health complications related to air pollution, and most of these pollutants appear from delivery vehicles.
Ersilia Verlinghieri, Senior Researcher, Active Travel Academy, University of Westminster, said: "It's more efficient than a van and much cleaner."
It is estimated that cargo bikes could replace around 51% of all electric freight transport in European cities. This number can be even higher when electric-assisted cargo bikes are used. The Paris study also found that 67% of the time it was more economical to use a cargo bike than a fleet of electric vans.
Efficiency of movement is key to keeping things commendable. Bikes could travel at higher average speeds in dense urban environments. Cargo bikes can bypass traffic jams, intersect car-free streets, use bus and bike lanes and get to customers' doorsteps, while vans are hampered by traffic jams and parking searches. In fact, these advantages are greater in European cities with narrow, winding streets than in the wide streets of North America.
And when you factor in the price of vans, fuel costs, insurance, discount, parking fees, and congestion charges, the cost-benefit ratio speaks for cargo bikes.
Traditional parcel depots are located on the outskirts of the city, and cargo bikes with a lower capacity than vans face a short time to get to these places. To stay competitive, cargo bikes must transport freight to centrally located microhubs, from where they can be loaded, delivered and returned multiple times a day. , these micro-hubs are designated in terms of overhead and labor, and only when many deliveries are made from them can the transportation cost savings outweigh the operational costs.