Cargo Bikes: Possible Solution for Last Mile Delivery
FedEx Express added 13 cargo bikes to its delivery fleet in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cambridge, UK, to promote greener, smarter mobility in urban areas as last mile delivery demand continues growing.
Last mile delivery services continue growing exponentially, mainly triggered by e-commerce’s constant expansion. Latin America is the fastest-growing e-commerce market in the world and presents special logistics challenges when compared with other regions, due to its fraught geography and sprawling urban landscapes, wrote on MBN Cargamos’ Ivan Ariza. Transport companies have begun implementing more technological, smarter solutions to address these difficulties, such as cargo bikes, which offer more efficient and greener transportation within big cities.
The last two years changed the way logistics operate. From 2009 to 2019, e-commerce only grew between 5-16 percent across the world, according to BGSA. This changed dramatically during 1Q2020, when online sales grew by 33 percent. In the US alone, last mile deliveries grew by 41 percent during 2020, also boosted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In Mexico, logistics and last mile delivery will represent a US$2.1 billion business in 2021, according to Statista. E-commerce sales in Mexico increased by 81 percent in 2020, according to the Mexican Association of Online Sales (AMVO).
Mexican transportation and logistics company Estafeta implemented its “green deliveries” in late 2017, featuring e-bikes for last mile deliveries in certain cities. “Our Green Shipments program makes use of electric cargo bikes to deliver shipments in cities with a large population packed in a reduced territorial extension such as Mexico City, Puebla and Queretaro,” wrote in MBN Ingo Babrikowski, CEO, Estafeta.
Mobility in cities plays a key role in progress toward a better world, says Ivan de la Lanza, Sustainable Urban Mobility Specialist, Instituto del Sur Urbano. “In the US alone, the demand for last-mile delivery is growing exponentially, with an estimated increase of at least 12 percent per year until 2025. Given the dependence of these vehicles on diesel, this sector presents significant challenges for global, national and regional climate goals, as well as for air quality, health, noise and equity outcomes in cities,” wrote in MBN de la Lanza.
Electric cargo bikes could be a solution for mobility and pollution problems. These vehicles are 60 percent faster for deliveries than vans in city centers, while cutting carbon emissions by 90 percent compared with diesel vans, and by a third compared with E-Vans, according to The Guardian.