DHL Express started distributing parcels in Ghent with a new type of cargo bike, the cubicycle. This sustainable delivery vehicle has been used in Antwerp for a over a year. Now it’s time to introduce the cubicycle in Ghent. Various other cities in Belgium will follow in the future.
The cubicycle is an electric four-wheeled cargo bike fully equipped with a special container. It can transport up to 125 kg of goods. It’s intended for parcel deliveries in the city. The courier departs from a service center on the outskirts of the town.
DHL Express aims at a double goal in Ghent with the cubicycle. First of all, this fits perfectly into the DHL Go Green program, which aims for the ‘last kilometer’ to be more environmentally friendly. By 2025, the company wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30%. Secondly, the cubicycle facilitates delivery in the city center since the launch of the Ghent circulation plan. The cargo bikes can reach every district of the city – including the pedestrian zone – and, unlike the vans, do not have to take into account the six sectors in which the city is subdivided.
“Thanks to the cubicycle, we can keep the traditional vans out of the city center of Ghent. The packages are bundled to a warehouse of Dockx Select located on the Wiedauwkaai. From there, the cargo bike leaves for a first order round. Once all packages have been distributed, the cubicyle returns to pick up a new load of parcels. This delivery method proves to be very efficient. It’s also more productive than delivery by vans “, says Danny Van Himste, General Manager of DHL Express in Belgium.
“In mid-2017 six cubicycles have been deployed successfully in Antwerp, from the DHL Express Service Center at the Noorderlaan. After Ghent, Leuven is next in line this year. In time we also want to use the cubicycles in other cities such as Bruges, Kortrijk and Mechelen. Liege and Charleroi may follow afterwards as well”, adds Rik Strymes, OPS Project Manager of DHL Express Belgium.
DHL Express is planning on ‘greening’ package deliveries in other Belgian cities and on the outskirts of the city. DHL will do this by using electric vans, such as the Streetscooter, built by DHL in Germany. “For the time being, the range is still a bit too limited, but in the long term the Streetscooter is certainly a very solid option”, says Strymes.