16. March 2017 | Sustainability
Muscle power and micro-depot: DPD Germany delivers parcels in Nuremberg with transport bikes
Since December 2016 DPD Germany has already delivered 5,000 parcels in the city using three electrically assisted transport bikes
A micro-depot enables decentral parcel distribution within the delivery zone
The trial is part of a pilot project initiated in 2016 under the technical supervision of Nuremberg Technical University
Nuremberg/Aschaffenburg, 16 March 2017 – In cities such as Nuremberg international parcel and express service provider DPD Germany is increasingly applying alternative delivery methods, with parcels being delivered in the south of the city with three electrically assisted transport bikes. Each transport bike can replace a conventional small delivery van. This is made possible by a centrally located micro-depot, at which parcels destined for the inner-city are stored and distributed. The micro-depot and transport bikes are part of a pilot project for sustainable inner-city logistics under the technical supervision of Nuremberg Technical University. The project is being supported, among other bodies, by Bavaria's Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Construction and Transport, the municipality of Nuremberg and the Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Central Franconia.
"Our initial experiences in Nuremberg have demonstrated clearly that transport bikes are a promising and practical alternative to conventional delivery vehicles"
Gerd Seber, Group Manager Sustainability & Innovation at DPD Deutschland
"Our initial experiences in Nuremberg have demonstrated clearly that transport bikes are a promising and practical alternative to conventional delivery vehicles", explains Gerd Seber, Group Manager Sustainability & Innovation at DPD Deutschland. "Transport bikes not only enable emissions-free parcel deliveries locally, but are also more practical and efficient in inner-city traffic." Since December DPD has already delivered 5,000 parcels by transport bike in the southern suburbs of Nuremberg. Each bike has a transport capacity of 1.45 m³, which is sufficient for up to 80 parcels. The transport bikes have a battery-powered drive unit which assists the parcel courier, while the large, lockable rear door and a smaller side door provide the courier with easy access to the parcels carried by the bike.
In Nuremberg DPD makes deliveries by transport bike mainly to private consignees in a test area covering the districts of Glockenhof, Steinbühel, Galgenhof and Hummelstein. In these densely populated residential areas with a high stop density the transport bikes are significantly more efficient than conventional delivery vans. For the same number of stops the bicycle couriers have to travel much shorter distances, have less ground to cover on foot and don't lose any time looking for somewhere to park. In inner-city traffic the highly manoeuvrable transport bikes are also considerably easier to manage than conventional delivery vehicles.
The connection with a micro-depot is a necessary one, because although transport bikes are ideal for delivering individual parcels locally, they are not suitable for carrying the parcels from the sorting centre to the inner city. At micro-depots within the delivery zone transport bikes can be stationed, loaded and have their battery charged. From the DPD point of view finding suitable areas for micro-depots is the principal challenge when it comes to using transport bikes. "Inner-city space is in great demand and is becoming increasingly scarce. For the purpose of establishing alternative delivery concepts in the long term we therefore appeal to the municipalities to cooperate even more closely with parcel services", explains Gerd Seber.
The "Pilot project on sustainable city logistics by CEP services using the micro-depot concept in the centre of Nuremberg" was launched early in 2016, with its operational start-up at the end of last year after a comprehensive analysis under the technical supervision of Nuremberg Technical University. Within the scope of the trial the use of transport bikes is being monitored and analysed by the partners in the project. Even after the conclusion of the pilot project DPD intends to continue the use of transport bikes on a permanent basis.
In future, for example, DPD will be using three transport bikes in Hamburg which are identical to those applied in Nuremberg. Discussions are also already taking place with a large number of other cities with the aim of enabling DPD - on the basis of the experience gained in Nuremberg - to extend the use of transport bikes significantly in the medium term.
DrivingChange™: DPD assumes responsibility
"Intelligent city logistics" and "carbon-neutral parcel transport" are two central pillars of DrivingChangeTM, the DPDgroup's corporate sustainability strategy. In addition to transport bikes DPD is also testing further alternative delivery concepts. For example, the company is experimenting with fully electric and hybrid vehicles, and is even looking at parcel delivery with driverless vehicles or using drones. In addition, with digital innovations for the management of parcel deliveries DPD is already ensuring efficient deliveries in inner-city areas. Further fields of action covered by DrivingChangeTM are "innovative business operations" and "social responsibility" (for more details please see (www.dpd.de/drivingchange).