DHL trials customized cargo trailer for inner-city deliveries

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Above: The Cubicycle from DHL

DHL Express has begun trialing a new customized trailer concept called City Hub, which helps facilitate the use of cargo bicycles for inner-city deliveries.

The City Hub is capable of carrying up to four containers for the DHL Cubicycle, a customized cargo bicycle with the capacity to carry a container measuring one cubic meter and weighing up to 125kg (276 lb).

A DHL van delivers the trailer into the city center, where the containers can be quickly loaded onto the Cubicycles for last-mile inner-city delivery. It can then be reloaded for outbound shipments. The solution reduces emissions by minimizing the mileage and time spent on the road by standard delivery vehicles. The trials are currently being undertaken in Frankfurt, Germany, and Utrecht in the Netherlands.

John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express Europe, said, “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 three to five years.

“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.”

Cubicycles boast electric pedal assistance for additional speed and support in climbing hills, and are easy to maneuver with a tight turning angle. The removable containers are secure and waterproof, and can be equipped with GPS or Internet of Things transmitters to facilitate real-time shipment tracking and security purposes.

March 2, 2017

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Dan originally joined Parcel and Postal Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest technological developments, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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