Wednesday 1 March, two pilot projects were launched by DHL Express in Frankfurt, Germany and Utrecht, Holland. In each city, two Armadillos (called Cubicycles within DHL), four City Containers and a custom City Container trailer (called City Hub within DHL) were taken into operation.
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.
“DHL Express has already replaced up to 60% of inner-city vehicle routes in some European countries with cargo bicycles, and we expect that the City Hub and Cubicycle will both help us to accelerate this approach in other markets over the next 3-5 years,” said John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express Europe. “Bicycles offer a number of advantages in express delivery operations: 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 Cubicycle runs smoothly, is surprisingly agile and has a small turning circle”, says Kees de Lange, Vice President of Operations at DHL Express Netherlands. “Despite the large container the bike is still narrow enough for bike paths. For example, it takes into account the standard dimensions of bollards. The height of the bike is chosen so that other cyclists can see over it. ”
“This is an interesting step, especially when it comes to how the City Containers are used, says Johan Erlandsson, the CEO of Velove. It shows the flexibility and efficiency of containerizing city logistics. There are almost endless possibilities that this opens up for, and I think we will see some more applications in the near future.”
Velove, the producer of the Armadillo/Cubicycle, is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. This is also where the the Armadillos and City Containers are assembled. The first prototypes were developed and built by Velove CEO Johan Erlandssons father, Börje Erlandsson, in 2011-2013. Pling Transport, Sweden, is testing partner since 2012. Dutch bicycle engineer Flevobike is development partner since 2014. DHL have been involved in the development of the City Container in 2015-2016, where Erik Svetsare made the prototype for the first DHL pilot. Katanga, Czech Republic, is production partner since 2016.
Johan Erlandsson, firstname.lastname@example.org