Traffic jams, vehicle access bans to certain areas, delivery restrictions and other environmental protection factors are making it increasingly difficult to deliver goods in urban centers. In response, the logistics operator Dachser is betting on alternative delivery solutions in the center of several cities.
In San Sebastián, Basque Country, Dachser has been delivering goods with electric cargo bikes for more than a year. The logistics company ensures that this measure is working with great success, in turn reporting benefits in terms of environmental sustainability.
In line with the “City Distribution” project for deliveries in the last mile, which is already being implemented in other cities in Europe, the Dachser delegation in San Sebastián decided to take a step forward in terms of sustainability and began to test deliveries with Electric bikes in the city center in mid-2019. After an initial trial period, under real traffic conditions, cargo bikes have been successfully delivering merchandise to Dachser customers in the Basque city for more than a year. The yellow and blue electric bicycles have a 2 meter high box, located at the rear of the vehicle, which allows transporting up to 250 kilos of goods. Fast and respectful with the environment, this means of transport manages to avoid obstacles that slow down delivery time in large urban centers, such as traffic jams or blocked streets, without forgetting areas that have been pedestrianized and that do not allow access to trucks , although yes to bicycles or tricycles.
“We started using the electric cargo bike because we wanted a sustainable and efficient distribution. We have been working and developing this possibility for some time and now, more than a year later and with the figures in hand, we can say that we provide a much faster service in the urban center, with zero emissions to the atmosphere, at least in the last mile ”, Explains José Miguel Herrera, General Manager North Iberia at Dachser.
"With these bicycles we deliver merchandise in the historic center of the city of San Sebastián, an area that previously presented challenges for delivery due to its peculiarities of access and traffic", adds the General Manager. San Sebastián, a city recognized for its initiatives in the field of sustainability, has imposed more and more restrictions, both in terms of hours and tonnage, for vehicles with a combustion engine. Certain areas of the old part of the city are completely pedestrianized and all motorized vehicles have restricted access, so the introduction of cargo bikes shows once again that Dachser is capable of providing practical solutions, anticipating the needs of its customers, while working in tune with its philosophy of care and respect for the environment.
Every morning, leaving our Dachser depot in Zubieta, located about 12 km from the center of San Sebastián, trucks deliver the day's goods to a Micro-Hub in the city center. From there, the last mile delivery is done with the electric cargo bike. By way of comparison, between June and December 2020, an average of some 600 expeditions per month were carried out through specific areas of the historic center of the city, delivering a monthly average of 19,700 kilos, which represents an increase of 92% in expeditions and 85% in kilos compared to the same period in 2019.
"This measure has been a great success and we have received very positive comments from our customers," says José Miguel Herrera, who added that "In the long term, our goal is to put more electric bicycles to deliver goods and start, too, to use electric trucks for deliveries, possibly enhancing our commitment to establishing a DACHSER emission-free delivery zone in the future. It is clear that we cannot use the bicycle for all deliveries, but the combination of various types of vehicles is for us an effective initiative and, even more, beneficial for the environment ”.
As deliveries to city centers pose an increasingly demanding challenge for logistics providers - due to increased order volumes, new environmental regulations and more traffic restrictions - Dachser adapts to achieve innovative and sustainable models that reverse in efficient logistics services in the city center. From Dachser they assure that they are working on solutions "that are not isolated, but are made to achieve a long-term improvement, always thinking about our integrated logistics network".