German retailer REWE Group has added cargo bikes to its delivery fleet for grocery delivery in Cologne, Berlin, and Hamburg.
The German retailer has spent a year testing the concept in its pilot scheme in Cologne, racking up 40,000 kilometres during testing phase.
The cargo bikes will be used for the last-mile of the delivery, the company added.
Bike Delivery Service
REWE has teamed up with VeloCarrier, an expert in bicycle logistics, to take over the completion of the delivery.
In Hamburg, the project is part of the RealLab Hamburg in cooperation with Hochbahn Hamburg.
The network already includes four bicycle hubs in which around 60 riders pedal hard from Monday to Saturday between 7:00 hours to 22:00 hours.
The delivery service will offer regular items ranging from fruit and vegetables to fresh meat and sausage products, frozen items and drinks.
Viktor Geist, senior project manager logistics development delivery service at REWE, said, "We are now able to deliver to customers by cargo bike from two bicycle hubs in Cologne, one hub in Hamburg and directly from one of our FFCs in Berlin."
Geist added that in the first few weeks of the trail, he and his team loaded the deliveries at the central Food Fulfilment Centre and delivered them to customers in the south of Cologne. "As a result, we were able to gather a lot of first-hand knowledge and make readjustments in the process."
Speaking on the advantage of cargo bikes over traditional delivery methods such as vans, Geist said that there are "economic and ecological advantages, but also advantages for urban traffic areas. This is exactly what the project is supposed to show. To counteract a prejudice directly: cargo bikes are no faster than our delivery vehicles. "
"There is also no difference in punctuality, which is generally very high. This is simply because the route planning - regardless of car or bike - plans the route and takes into account the weather, traffic and breaks for the driver from the outset," he added.
The retailer plans to expand the service further in urban areas based on the success of the programme in the new cities of Berlin and Hamburg.