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  March 3rd, 2017 | Written by

DHL Expands Green Urban Deliveries

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  • Containerized trailer can act as mobile hub for up to two DHL Cubicycles.
  • Pilot projects launched by DHL Express in Utrecht, Netherlands and Frankfurt, Germany.
  • DHL initiative reduces emissions by minimizing the time spent on the road by standard delivery vehicles.

DHL Express is piloting a new City Hub concept that will enable increased use of cargo bicycles for inner-city deliveries.

The City Hub is a customized trailer which can carry up to four containers for the DHL Cubicycle, a customized cargo bicycle which can carry a container with a load of up to 275 pounds. A DHL van delivers the trailer into the city center, where the containers can be quickly loaded on to two Cubicyles for last-mile inner-city delivery. It can then be reloaded for outbound shipments.

The solution significantly reduces emissions by minimizing the mileage and time spent on the road by standard delivery vehicles. Each City Hub can replace up to two standard delivery vehicles, with an equivalent CO2 saving of over sixteen tons per year and a significant reduction in other emissions.

DHL Express has already replaced up to 60 percent of inner-city vehicle routes in some European countries with cargo bicycles.

DHL has launched two pilots of the City Hub concept – in Frankfurt, Germany’s fifth largest city, and Utrecht in the Netherlands, which has announced the target of becoming climate-neutral by 2030.

“Bicycles offer a number of advantages in express delivery operations,” said John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express Europe. “They can bypass traffic congestion and make up to two times as many stops per hour than a delivery vehicle. The total cost of ownership over their lifetime is less than half of a van. And crucially, they generate zero emissions, which reinforces our own ongoing program to minimize our environmental footprint and supports city governments’ efforts to promote sustainable city living.”

The removable containers are secure and waterproof, and offer a large volume while not impairing the view of other cyclists.

DHL Express has introduced bicycles in more than 80 European cities in 13 European countries to date, including 14 Cubicycles in seven cities. Cubicycle couriers cover on average 30 miles a day.