• CTC, Gnewt and Hermes Team Up for Cyclelogistics Project in Central London
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  • 20.11.2013


Making streets greener, safer and less congested: a cargo bike. Photo (c) ECF

Making streets greener, safer and less congested: a cargo bike. Photo (c) ECF

While some Londoners are discussing banning lorries during peak hours, others are taking matters into their own hands. Gnewt Cargo, a last-mile delivery company using electric cargo cycles and minivans, has started a pilot project together with the CTC and the Cyclelogistics project.

Since 2009, Gnewt Cargo has specialized in offering  zero-emissions last mile delivery in the heart of London’s tourist district, on some of the busiest streets of the city. That caught the attention of the CTC, an ECF member, who subsequently signed up Gnewt as a sub-contractor for the delivery of the Cyclelogistics project in London.

“The money awarded to Gnewt through the CycleLogistics Project has allowed us to offer a subsidised trial with a ‘traditional delivery’ organisation, Hermes,” says Matt Linnecar, Gnewt’s co-founder.

The trial includes a Saturday service, which Gnewt did not offer before. Having started this October, the trial will continue through to January 2014. “At that point we will see whether we can expand the trial,” says Matt Linnecar. “We certainly hope that will be possible.”

After all, the Cyclelogistics baseline study published earlier this year suggests that there is a huge potential for shifting goods delivery from trucks and vans to cargo bikes. The study found that as much as 51% of motorized trips in EU cities could be taken over by delivery bikes.

50,000 packages until January

Cyclelogistics – Moving goods by cycle

Find out more about Cyclelogistics on our project page.

Matt says Gnewt are receiving approximately 500 packages per day from Hermes at this time, which will increase to 1,500 in the run-up to Christmas. The packages are then delivered via 5 different routes with one cargo bike each delivering 100 packages and travelling about 5 miles per day. 

And the end of the trial, Gnewt will have delivered more than 50,000 packages using only cargo bikes. Matt Linnecar says they will also have prevented almost a tonne of CO2 emissions being released into the athmosphere. 

“If the trial is successful, we hope to add Hermes to our growing client list,” says Matt Linnecar. “And Londoners can look forward to less congested and cleaner streets.”

And streets will be safer as well. If Gnewt suceeds, the lorries might just vanish all by themselves from central London – even without any bans.

About the Author

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Karsten Marhold works as Communications Assistant at the European Cyclists’ Federation. He has a masters degree in European history and cultures and is a researcher in European Integration in Brussels. His interests focus on cycling as a sustainable form of mobility and the corresponding EU policies.

  • avlowe

    I started working in cycle logistics aged 12 (delivering locally by bicycle) and by 15 I was managing a small group of other young people every morning (and a limited evening service) 7 days per week.

    With such high levels of youth unemployment cycle logistics provides a solution to the problem can’t get a job without a reference, can’t get a reference without a job, and an easy entry-level scheme which works locally.

    Should ECF members be looking at how to help with the operating structure so young people can get themselves marketed as cycle logistics operatives?

    • Slow_Factory

      I was going to ask about labor conditions of drivers vs. cyclists so glad you started the thread… entry-level jobs like this are great but my questions for operators include: Will cycle logistics operators have the same pay or justified lower pay, ability to organize/join a union and even if they work part-time – this may apply more to the U.S. – will they have benefits such as health insurance?

    • Moritz Meenen

      Now that there are some high-quality pedelec cargo bikes available, cycle logistics seem to make a lot of sense in many cities. @avlowe:disqus you are right: youth unemployment is a big thing and might be worth trying a large-scale pilot in e.g. a city in Spain. Let’s see if more people are interested. (btw: our company does software for E-Bike-fleet-management and could possibly help).

Last Updated December 4, 2013