Micro-depots as the starting point for delivery with cargo bikes are a transferable solution for local authorities to help make delivery traffic more environmentally friendly. Parcels will continue to be delivered from Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg using cargo bikes even after the end of the project. BEHALA functions as the neutral operator of the handling area.
The twelve-month test phase of the KoMoDo pilot project confirmed that the use of cargo bikes for the delivery of parcels and the shared use of a micro-depot site by several parcel services can work if certain prerequisites are satisfied.
The goal of the project was to test sustainable solutions for delivery traffic in urban areas and also to develop solutions which can be transferred to other local authorities. The KoMoDo (Cooperative use of micro-depots by courier, express delivery and parcel delivery services for the sustainable deployment of cargo bikes in Berlin) project was sponsored by the Federal Environmental Ministry. One year after the start of the pilot project, those involved painted a positive picture. Extensive knowledge was gained over the one-year project term. The practical test showed that micro-depots and cargo bikes represent an efficient alternative, especially in areas with a high density of recipients and a dispatch structure which is suited to cargo bikes (parcel numbers, volumes and weights).
The use of cargo bikes for the last mile is environmentally friendly, as these can replace trips made by conventional delivery vehicles. The delivery personnel used the essentially electrically assisted cargo bikes in a radius of up to three kilometres around the micro-depot in Prenzlauer Berg. And since all deliveries were emission-free, around eleven tons of CO2 were saved compared with conventional delivery vehicles. Up to eleven cargo bikes were in use on a daily basis and they covered, in total, more than 38,000 km.
Over the past twelve months within the scope of this project, around 160,000 parcels were delivered by cargo bike in the vicinity of the micro-depots by Germany’s five largest parcel delivery services. During the course of the project, the participating parcel delivery services continuously increased the volume of parcels delivered. Public areas are at a premium in built-in inner-city areas. As such, they need to be used in a cooperative and highly efficient manner. Cities and companies alike can benefit from the use of micro-depots and cargo bikes to render the last mile more “city-friendly”.
Parcel delivery by cargo bike to be continued in Berlin
For the participating parcel delivery services, this project offered the chance to test out parcel delivery using cargo bikes from micro-depots in Berlin. Conclusion: in essence, the micro-depot model proved itself in practice. The project partners therefore hope to build upon the findings to date and are interested in further stabilising this approach. Even when public funding is discontinued (1st July 2019), the parcel delivery services involved will continue to use the current site for a further six months to deliver parcels by cargo bike. The Berlin-Pankow district office has already approved use of this area for an extended period. Based on these project results, the Senate Administration for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection has committed to identifying further suitable sites for micro-depots in Berlin together with the local districts and BEHALA. The Berlin Senate Administration, as the municipal partner of this pilot project, was very positive: Regine Günther, Senator for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, said: “The practice test confirmed in impressive style how modern, environmentally and climate-friendly delivery traffic can work. Micro-depots and cargo bikes can be an efficient solution for the last mile of parcel deliveries. I am delighted that our pilot project proved so successful.”