A quiet revolution is happening in the streets. Literally. Eco-friendly cargo deliveries by bicycle are becoming commonplace, writes JULENA DRUMI
Andrew Taylor says he always wanted to do something that would make a difference. Being able to do it while combining it with one of his passions was a plus. Last year, Glasgow-based Taylor created Velo-City, one of the new cycle cargo delivery services that is riding the wave of sustainable transport.
Velo-City has emerged as one of the pandemic startups and has also been part of a logistics revolution that is changing the way merchants deliver goods in urban settings. Eco-delivery is a growing trend. Barclays predicts that nine out of ten UK retailers (91%) are considering investing there.
In many ways, this is a throwback to the old style of wheelbarrow and cart distribution. No engines, no fuel. Just a bit of muscle power and an enthusiasm for clean air.
“I started the company in 2021, wanting to demonstrate how safe, secure, sustainable and satisfying it is for businesses to profit from e-bike deliveries,” says Taylor.
“I’ve always wanted to do something that makes a positive difference, involves my love of cycling and plays a more active role in my eight year old son’s life. Starting Velo-City ticked all the boxes. The time had come, and I wish I had done it sooner.
With a load capacity of 100 kg and a specialized aluminum trailer, Taylor’s bikes deliver a wide range of goods including bottles, barrels, medicine, marketing materials, artwork and antiques.
The company’s mission is to prove that local and last-mile logistics are more suitable for bicycles than utility cars or electric vehicles. It replaces polluting vehicles in local and last mile deliveries responsible for up to 80% of total delivery emissions.
Based on a diesel van, the customer saves 0.4 kg of Co2 per km and customers receive regular updates on their carbon savings.
Clients include the National Theater of Scotland, Good Spirits Co., The Scottish Gantry, Merchant City Print, The Good Coffee Cartel, We Are 1 of 100 and Bare Bones Chocolate.
John Bynorth of Environmental Protection Scotland, who coordinated this month’s Clean Air Day in Scotland, says: “Cargo bikes are now commonplace in Scottish cities. Seeing them in such large numbers on our streets is a sure sign of a green economic recovery.
“They are air pollution control, providing goods and services and, at the same time, helping to improve air quality for pedestrians and cyclists.
“Almost a quarter (23%) of private vehicle journeys in Scotland are less than a mile, which could be avoided by businesses if they simply switched to cargo bike deliveries instead of cars or vans for journeys that often last a few minutes and are often the most polluting. .
“With so many deliveries being made every minute across Scotland, the cargo bike industry has an important role to play in improving air quality and helping businesses achieve net zero climate change targets. .”
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