Items filtered by date: January 2022

 

Each year hundreds of businesses up and down the country deliver the last, first or only mile of their service by cargo bike. Cargo bike operators have proven this to be a time efficient, and cost-effective way to deliver to consumers. However, there remains a large issue of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) deliveries entering our city centres, negatively impacting air quality, road safety and damaging road surfaces. The solution to this issue?

Micro consolidation centres. These centres can allow smooth integration between HGV deliveries and more environmentally and socially sustainable first and last mile delivery methods, by using cargo bikes.

In May 2019 MP Smarter Travel partnered with Islington Council, in conjunction with Archway Town Centre Group, in a TfL-supported cargo bike project to:

  1. Encourage businesses to use local cargo bike operator, Pedivan, for their deliveries; and
  2. Guide eligible local businesses to occupy one of five spaces within the newly established Archway micro-consolidation centre.

 

Aim of the Project

At the core of Archway Town Centre is Navigator Square, which had recently been redeveloped and semi-pedestrianised in 2017 and 2018. As part of the area’s redevelopment, new cycle lanes had been introduced to encourage more active travel.

In a bid to help reduce air pollution and take full advantage of new cycle infrastructure, the square was identified as a prime location for a new micro consolidation centre where couriers, such as Pedivan, could collect deliveries easily and safely. The chosen site was able to accommodate HGVs, had good access to major arterial roads but was also in cycling distance of Islington’s key high streets.

In addition to the consolidation centre, the project worked to maximise the number of cargo bike deliveries happening in the Archway area. Businesses were offered £250 each towards using Pedivan’s service. The subsidy helped nudge businesses into action and helped to cover any admin time required to change supplier.

 

The Process

Business listing and ranking

Through area walks and desk-based research, MP Smarter Travel compiled a list of businesses in the Archway area. Based on business type, size, location and experience from hundreds of business engagements, our consultants ranked each business for their propensity to use cargo bikes. Businesses were then engaged in ranked order.

Our consultants also compiled a list of engaged businesses that expressed an interest in using the micro-consolidation centre. Based on distance from the site, expected regularity of use, product type and volume of produce, five businesses were selected to trial the new Archway consolidation centre.

 

Business engagement

MP Smarter Travel specialise in engaging businesses en-masse, guiding each target business to adopting sustainable transport. In Archway, MP Smarter Travel consultants visited local businesses to understand their needs and promote cargo bike alternatives to their existing diesel/petrol courier trips. With the offer of a subsidy and all the info they needed, businesses were introduced to using Pedivan’s cargo bikes instead of existing diesel/petrol vehicles.

The consolidation centre’s five cages were allocated to specific businesses. Our consultants explained the advantages and method to using the centre. Businesses then began ordering large deliveries to arrive at the centre, storing the consignment on-site and using Pedivan’s zero-emission cargo bikes to deliver stock when needed.

 

Conclusion

MP Smarter Travel’s team engaged over 275 businesses throughout the project. Of these, 28 businesses signed up to using cargo bikes, with an additional 38 businesses expressing a strong interest in joining the project, but with not enough time to see them convert.

All five of the spaces within the consolidation centre were successfully allocated to businesses that continued to use the space for the duration of the project.

Absolute Print, a local graphics and printing business, found the use of cargo bikes hugely advantageous. By the end of the project (February 2020), the business was completing 4-5 weekly Pedivan deliveries, replacing a predicted 2,000 petrol/diesel vehicle miles since June 2019.

By February 2020, The Toy Project, another Archway business, was also saving £140 and 30 hours of staff time per month.

 

“We are using it all the time! Means that the van is off the street and I have more hours in a week. Also making our deliveries and collections [is] so easy and SO carbon free!"

Jane Garfield, Founder and Director - The Toy Project

 

Pedivan started the project period with three cargo bikes. Having received new customers through the Cleaner Deliveries, Smarter Business project, Pedivan was able to purchase new bikes and expand their operation. Pedivan now have 17 cargo bikes, with each bike substituting deliveries that likely would have been completed by diesel/petrol vehicles.

Published in Case studies

 

As part of the Bikes for Business project with Team London Bridge, we work with an array of cargo bike operators with a proven track record of service, who pick-up and deliver right across the capital.

This month, we spoke with Findlay Fyfe, Head of Operations, at Mango Logistics, a sustainable delivery, storage and fulfilment one-stop-shop based in London. As one of our largest cargo bike operators for Bikes for Business, you may have already seen their white and green cargo bikes cycling on the road already. Read on to find out who Mango Logistics are and what they do.

mango-street-300

 

What do Mango Logistics do?

We’ve been around for around 20 years in one form or another, doing deliveries across London. Our entire owned fleet including both bikes and vans, are fully electric.

Our core part of the business is warehousing and fulfilment. Most cargo bike operators only do deliveries, but we have multiple warehouses where we store items and as orders come in, we package them and send them out for delivery. Our deliveries are mainly B2B (business-to-business), with the majority of stock held in our own storage facilities. A lot of the items that we store are wholesale coffee and tea as well as premium food products like caviar. We also store and deliver IT and cabling equipment.

At the moment, our deliveries are all within London, however, we’ll soon be opening a new warehouse and fulfilment centre outside of the capital so we can do national deliveries, which means expanding our cargo bike fleet.

 

Which bikes do you use?

We use the Urban Arrow XL which has a 300-litre box. That size of box can carry around nine large food trays or up to 12 A4 boxes. Essentially, our bikes can carry anything that would normally go in a van. For larger items, we use the Urban Arrow Tender that has a 1000 litre box, it’s incredibly big and still gets through traffic just as easily as a regular cargo bike. For any deliveries over a longer distance, we give each of our courier’s back-up batteries to keep them going.

We also work with B2C (business-to-consumer) firms and do ‘multi-drops’ as the items are smaller and we can deliver a lot of items really quickly and efficiently this way. Multi-drops are typically only done in central London, and only for small items.

 

What are the most unusual or largest items you’ve transported?

As our focus is business-to-business deliveries, we don’t tend to transport anything unusual, for us it’s the volume of products that we transport. Having said that, a lot of people don’t realise that computers or electrical equipment could even be delivered by bike!

 

What advice would you give to businesses who are unsure of using cargo bikes?

If you’re looking to buy a cargo bike, see if there’s a government grant or scheme that you can take part in, you won’t be able to claim the full cost of the bike, but you can get subsidies towards one. These types of grants are becoming more and more common. For example, the Energy Saving Trust announced a grant earlier this year which proved to be really popular. If you don’t get the chance to apply now, keep a look out for new grants as they’ll keep coming around.

When it comes to buying your own bike, buy a quality bike over a cheap one. Cargo bikes can take a battering on the road, particularly if they’re used a lot, so you need to make sure that you have one that is reliable. You may think you’re saving money by buying a cheaper bike, but you’ll spend more in the long run repairing and maintaining it.

If you decide to use an operator, first check where they deliver to first. Most operators, including us, will have a defined area of where they pick-up and deliver items, which is one of the reasons why cargo bike operators can be a more competitive option price-wise. Find out what they can and can’t deliver, generally all cargo bikes are pretty big, so it’s not an issue, but it’s always worth asking the question.

 

Contact

Find out more about Mango Logistics by visiting their website. If you’re a business based in SE1, SE16 or SE17, or make frequent deliveries in the area, contact Leigh Gravenor at leigh.gravenor@mpsmartertravel.co.uk, or on 0207 960 2553.

Alternatively, if you work at a local council and looking to implement a cargo bike project in your area, or would like to discuss any of our other sustainable transport services, contact Oli Ivens at oli.ivens@mpsmartertravel.co.uk or call 0207 960 2553.

Published in Blog

Case studies