18 sep 18

Drones and cargo bikes as alternatives for the last mile

Sustainable transport is a hot issue, and more and more, trucks and even traditional light commercial vehicles are banned from city centres. Therefor, alternatives for the so called “last mile delivery” are needed. Focus on three interesting alternatives providing eco-friendly list mile delivery that are actually on offer…


Aha Drone Delivery (Iceland)

In Reykjavik, service provider Aha encourages emission free last mile deliveries by promoting a behavioural shift towards a more sustainable urban mobility culture. It does so through the online sale of products and food that are delivered using electric cars and –as a real premiere- drones. Their local marketplace platform handles products from their online order to the delivery.

Aha started its activities in 2011 and is now the leading Icelandic e-commerce marketplace for food and product delivery. Of course, the most appealing aspect is their delivery using drones. Aha partnered with Israeli drone company Flytrex to launch the world’s first autonomous drone delivery system on one selected route in august of last year. Indeed, even Amazon is not operating drones yet, due to regulatory difficulties. Starting this summer, Aha added 13 routes and is now operating its drone delivery service on 14 different routes in a large portion of the Reykjavik area. All drones have to fly along a prescribed route, and can only deviate up to 700 metres from their normal path in order to land in the customers’ garden or driveway. They can carry a maximum of 3 kgs and can fly at 50 km/h.


Cargo Bike Borrowing Shop (Finland)

A very interesting initiative is the Cargo Bike Borrowing Shop in Jyväskylä in Finland. Its aimis to make cargo bikes available and familiar to everyone. Anyone can borrow a cargo bike for 1 to 3 days, free of charge.

The Cargo bike borrowing shop operates in The Civic Center Matara In Jyväskylä, Finland and is a part of the local sustainable development office. It is funded by the Finnish Transport.
The offer consists of three electric box bicycles, one electric box tricycle, three electric basic bicycles, one tandem, one rickshaw, one event bike, and one bike trailer. That way, users can see what type of cargo bike best suits their needs. All of them are e-bikes, so hills and heavy loads are no problem.


Green Link (Great Britain)

York, Luton and Darlington based emission-free cycle-freight delivery and distribution service Green Link is built around the use of electric vehicles, load-carrying tricycles, bicycles and load-carrying trailers. They offer a Last Mile Fulfillment service to keep parcel delivery drivers with lcv’s and cars out of town centres. The drivers can drop their packages at one of Green Link’s consolidation centres and the last trajectory is being made with sustainable vehicles that can carry up to 250 kg in weight.

Authored by: Stijn Blanckaert