A step forward for last mile deliveries
Speaking during a presentation sponsored by the Urban Land Institute at the Realty exhibition held last week in Knokke, Belgium, Renaud Sarrazin, co-founder of Urbike, addressed the issue of inner city merchandise deliveries to stores. Urbike represents an electric bike with a trailer designed to carry a standard Euro-pallet with up to 200 kilos/1.5 m³ of merchandise. The pallet can be loaded into the specially designed container of the trailer, it is claimed, in three seconds…
As Urbike transports a standard Euro-pallet, this system can interact with all other types of transport which may deliver the pallets to suburban hubs. The company talks of multi-modal and multi-functional micro-hubs in the heart of cities too. And as delivery is by bike, it can take place right outside the front door of the shop, being transported in bike lanes and not being subject to any traffic jams or other delays. The advantages are in time (trials show a 30% improvement over any other form of last mile delivery) and environmental friendliness, as there are clearly no emissions at all. The company states that research shows that one in four urban deliveries could be made by bike, but only one in a thousand currently are.
Safety is another feature. During 5,000 km covered on behalf of its clients in Brussels, which include the Belgian Post Office and supermarket chain Delhaize, there have been no accidents.