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Curbside Supplies FedEx with Bullitt Cargo Bike Fleet

Curbside Supplies FedEx with Bullitt Cargo Bike Fleet

Posted on 05 August 2020

On Friday, July 24th 2020, FedEx Canada took delivery of three e-assist Bullitt cargo bikes, designed to lower costs, decrease emissions, and raise efficiencies for small package delivery in the downtown Toronto area.

Together with FedEx, Curbside and the Pembina Institute conducted a review of current legislation with an eye to future legislation around e-assist cargo bikes. The final result was the proven Bullitt cargo bike, a Type-1 “pedelec” e-assist with a strong, lightweight frame that is narrow enough to pass and be passed in Toronto’s variable-width bike lanes. “The Bullitt is built for professional use,” says Hans Fogh, CEO of Bullitt, “some would consider it over-constructed, but this is how we guarantee the bike to be strong enough for the daily use and abuse of a courier company.” Then there are the operating costs, “when the running costs of a Bullitt are compared to the running costs of a delivery van, there is a huge potential for making good business out of a fleet of Bullitts” says Fogh.

Together with the Pembina Institute, Curbside Cycle has been researching the viability and onboarding of cargo bikes since 2018. In Europe, cargo bikes have been used with great success for decades for “last mile deliveries.” The “last mile” refers to the last leg of distance a package travels after leaving the depot. Research shows that this “last mile” costs up to 50% of a package's total cost, mostly due to gridlock. “Due to the internet sales, more and more parcels need to be delivered all over the world... at the same time the traffic in the cities tend to move slower and slower... A way to get the parcel around easily, is by transporting them on a cargobike,” says Fogh.

However, research conducted by Curbside and Pembina also clearly shows that within a 10km radius of dense gridlock, packages move faster, cheaper, and cleaner using an e-assist cargo bike. Working with Pembina, FedEx realized that the key ingredient is not just the cargo bike, but the use of a ‘micro-hub,’ a downtown delivery depot that serves cargo bike delivery. Cargo bikes cut through gridlock, parking easily and efficiently delivering parcels. They then zip back to the micro-hub to make more pickups. “When measuring the efficiency of a fleet of Bullitts up against a fleet of transportation vans,” says Fogh, “the Bullitt is always the winner, often by 25-30% more delivered parcels.”

“According to DHL in Europe - who have a fleet over 1000 Bullitts - an entire van is replaced with a single cargo bike and performs more efficiently at much lower cost,” says Eric Kamphof, Curbside’s Manager, “this is what we are gunning to achieve in Toronto.”

At the end of the day, the benefits far outweigh the costs, although the challenge cannot be underrated. Luckily, FedEx is supported with continued research from Pembina and the finest support from Curbside and Bullitt.

“To try to do things differently takes some guts,” says Fogh of Bullitt, “we have seen the challenge when trying to implement bikes into a traditional fleet of vans as it requires a different mindset. However, the world is changing and in a short while we can not ask whether we want to find different transport options, we simply have to find different options...Wishing FedEx good luck on this project, leading them into modern transportation!”

"When the running costs of a Bullitt are compared to the running costs of a delivery van, there is a huge potential for making good business out of a fleet of Bullitts"

CEO Hans Fogh - Larry Vs Harry (Bullitt)

AUGUST 5, 2020

"When measuring the efficiency of a fleet of Bullitts up against a fleet of transportation vans the Bullitt is always the winner, often by 25-30% more delivered parcels"

CEO Hans Fogh - Larry Vs Harry (Bullitt)

AUGUST 5, 2020

For any inquiries please email: eric@curbsidecycle.com

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