The United Nations: Event on the role of Cargo-Bikes in City Logistics


Geneva – April 26-27, 2017

This year the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is celebrating its 70th anniversary and, in the context of the UNECE Commission’s work to develop a collective vision of the future towards sustainable development, The Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) organised an event to show the different aspects related to sustainable and active mobility. In particular, THE PEP representing the cooperation between the UNECE and the World Health Organization (WHO), kindly invited CONEBI to present an overview regarding the role of cargo and e-cargo bikes in business and service applications with a focus on the economic, social and environmental benefits that derive from the use of such vehicles.
As widely known, Cycling is a green and healthy mode of transport, with a notable potential to significantly improve health of people, to reduce air pollution caused by polluting vehicles, and to connect people with the concept of sustainable mobility. In this perspective, Cargo bikes and Pedal-Assist Ebikes are a rising trend in urban lifestyle but also in relation to city logistics. Nowadays we have more and more cargo and e-cargo bikes for bringing children to school but also for postal and goods delivery, for small business services, for street cleaning and maintenance, for collection of waste just to mention a few.

A recent analysis conducted by the European Cycle Logistics Federation provides a fascinating view of the status of Cycle Logistics across Europe; some of the key findings include:

  • Commercial cycle logistics businesses are operating in 93 towns and cities across 17 European countries
  • 39 companies (out of 80) are working with traditional logistics companies providing last and first mile delivery services
  • Over 900 standard bikes, cargo bikes, cargo trikes and quads are being used to provide delivery services
  • Around 1,250 persons are employed across 73 cycle logistics, up from 960 one year ago
  • On average there are over 16,000 items delivered per day (up from 7,500 just 1 year ago) to over 10,000 delivery locations

There are many examples of European towns and cities that are committed to bring cargo bikes to a higher level: in Cambridge, for example, the city council outsources internal mail delivery to cycle logistics company whose couriers cycled 100.000km and saved 45tonnes CO2 in 1 year! In conclusion, cargo and e-cargo bikes are one of the key solution to many of the transportation problems facing European cities while cities and businesses save money by replacing polluting vehicles with cycles for the services they provide.

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