The "goods delivery" application area involves developing a business model for shifting a portion of urban goods transportation to cargo bikes. The focal point being light goods up to 250kg and inner city areas.
Outspoken Delivery based in Cambridge, UK has been running a successful same day delivery service using cargo bikes since 2006. One of the key characteristics which emerged when the business first started was the reactive nature of the operation - the business was dependent on customers calling up and requesting a one-off delivery/collection be made. It quickly become apparent that this was not a viable or sustainable business model and a concerted effort was made to obtain daily contract work based around regular and frequent collections and deliveries.
The natural progression for a courier business is to develop a next day delivery operation in conjunction with one or more leading national/international delivery companies (eg. TNT, DHL, UPS), where cargo bikes are used for the final mile of delivery. The delivery company will drop-off their cargo at the courier depot each morning and high capacity cargo bikes, potentially with electric assist and capable of carrying up to 250kg, will be used for the final leg of the delivery journey. Issues concerning security of both the goods and the rider, GPS tracking, proof of delivery and insurance had to be addressed. Now Outspoken delivers for Parcel Force and TNT. Deliveries for both companies are consolidated to make efficent use of the capacity of the cargo trikes. In addition Outspoke also distributes about 10.000 copies of magazines to 100+ locations.
The main outputs of this application area will be a formalised and transferable business model for running a cycle based courier business that can be adopted by couriers across towns and cities in Europe.