International cargo bike festival magazine 2016

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international cargo bike festival 2016 nijmegen, the netherlands 16 & 17 april 2016

International Cargo Bike Festival How a forward to basic solution will become a game changer in logistics /


contents 4



Cargo bikes are the future

eco friendly transport

the chairman up close

Jos Sluijsmans

Michael Cramer

Johan Breet




Cargo bike sharing


transporting europallets




visitors’ impressions

growing bike usage

cargo bike entrepreneurs

Stefan Bendiks

Mark Potters & Felix Vanvuchelen




livable cities

cycle logistics survey

sunday impression


editorial & sponsors


international cargo bike festival 2016

Cargo Bikes are the future

Jos Sluijsmans, Director International Cargo Bike Festival

– Jos sluijsmans


#ICBF2016 It is the fifth time that the International Cargo Bike Festival is being held, at the same time the cargo bike industry is gaining momentum worldwide. This will transform cities into a much more pleasant environment, states event-organizer Jos Sluijsmans.

Cities worldwide are congested with cars, trucks and minivans that are blocking roads, polluting air and causing more and more frustration. This is progressively becoming worse due to rapid growth in internet sales and home deliveries.

the team has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the Italian parliament. Chances are slim that bicycles will again become a symbol of social change in Western society. Sluijsmans is however convinced bikes will play an important role in transforming city life. In ten years cities will be small-scale, Sluijsmans predicts. Small in size and (mostly) muscle powered, cargo bikes provide clean, fast and agile means of transportation, according to Sluijsmans. “Many cargo bikes can bypass traffic jams and they make it possible to take shorter and more direct delivery routes. They don’t block the road when a package is being delivered and they produce no noise.”

The solution is as simple as it is old: using cargo bikes instead of motorized transport will make cities feel more spacious, improve transport efficiency, increase living conditions and social interactions, says Dutch national Jos Sluijsmans. It is his mission to reduce the number of vans by fifty percent in the next ten years. For the Netherlands this means that 400.000 delivery vans will be replaced by cargo bikes by 2025 saving 1,5 million tons of CO2 emissions annually. One way he intends to achieve his goal is by organizing the International Cargo Bike Festival. He hopes to inspire and connect people who share the same ambition.

However, much has to happen for Sluijsmans to reach his goal. First of all, municipalities should ban vans and cars that pollute the air, he says. Secondly, ‘bundling’ of cargo is of importance, so cargo bikes and (electric) vans are loaded up to their maximum capacity. This by itself would reduce the number of vans needed, as many of these vans drive around largely empty. There is also work to be done in the cargo bike industry itself. That is why containerization is discussed at the conference. Sluijsmans: “Using containers of a standard size could increase efficiency because of quicker loading and unloading. Also, it would allow for track-and-trace-systems to be used.” In the meantime, cargo bikes are gaining ground. Not just with new specialized logistics companies like Bubble Post originating from Belgium or Delfast from Kiev, Ukraine. Well established firms like DHL are also experimenting with cargo bikes. In the Netherlands, the company replaced 33 vans with 33 cargo bikes. Now they save up to 13.000 euros per bike per year in fuel and maintenance of the vans, among other things. It will only be a matter of time for Sluijsmans to achieve his goal. Or as Grant Petersen stated: “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”

Sluijsmans has always loved cycling. Even as a high school student, he’d rather cycle the 13 km from home to school than having to run to catch the train. “Cycling gives you a lot of independence,” he says smiling. When traveling short distances the bike can often turn out to be the fastest means of transportation. Sluijsmans noticed this when he had to commute between the cities of Nijmegen, where he lives and Arnhem where he worked, some 23 km. “After work all my colleagues - the ones that lived in Nijmegen that is - would return home in their cars. Even though they were traveling at a much higher speed, I would often catch up with them at the Nijmegen Bridge, a narrow in the road causing traffic jams.” It made him think about better ways of transportation. “Not only did my colleagues return home at around the same time as I did, they also complained a lot about the traffic jam whereas I had had a pleasant journey cycling home.” Nowadays Sluijsmans is an entrepreneur and a fierce advocate of cargo bike services. That being said, he is also a fount of knowledge about bikes and everything related to them. For instance, he tells about the importance of bicycles in women’s empowerment in the Netherlands. Around the year 1900 ladies on bikes became a symbol of the so much desired freedom and equal rights. Today history is repeating itself in Afghanistan, Sluijsmans says. There, women fighting for equal rights have founded the Afghan Women’s Cycling Team. Recently,

Tekst  Daan Marselis


international cargo bike festival 2016

Eco friendly transport must get fair competition

– michael cramer

Eco friendly means of transportation are battling an uphill battle. Airlines, merchant shipping and motorized road transport benefit from low taxes and sometimes even subsidies on fuel. These sectors can also count on huge investments in infrastructure, while at the same time ecofriendly transport by train is heavily taxed. This unbalance has to change, says Michael Cramer from Germany, member of European Parliament for the Greens. Ecofriendly means of transportation should get an advantage, or at least a fair chance. This is of major importance for the EU to really reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The transport sector alone is responsible for 24 percent of CO2-emissions, and trucks are the largest polluters of all. Even more important: the transport sector is the only one that shows an increase in CO2-emissions, says Cramer. “Since 1990, the emission of CO2 has increased by 24 percent,” Cramer told the audience in his keynote presentation. “All other sectors have managed to reduce emissions.” Cargo bikes could play a significant role in reducing CO2emissions in the transport sector, Cramer says. Cargo bikes should be integrated in local and regional transport policy. The EU would be willing to fund these projects, if only regional and local authorities would ask.

Michael Cramer

But the cargo bike-sector should make more of an effort as well. “Lobby your MEP’s and local politicians,” Cramer told his audience. “Target the politicians and policy makers that are not yet on your side, and convince them with statistics about business opportunities, jobs, taxes, environment and health.” Only then, might the playing field be leveled.

The European Parliament is opening up on ecofriendly transport, Cramer said. One MEP is made a contact for the industry, best practices are being shared and progress is being monitored.


Cargo bikes, cargo trikes

– and much more..


international cargo bike festival 2016

‘The chairman’ up close easy lifting

innovative electricity power

forewheel driven 8


beautiful design with sustainable bamboo materials


international cargo bike festival 2016

The immense potential of urban cargo bike sharing system London-based Bike Hub’s David Eales spoke about the vast variety of users of cargo bike sharing systems. Schools, business, craftsmen, families… Having in mind the current limits of British cycling infrastructure, they have to use a different approach in attracting their possible users – the trick is provide service where one would have to travel a lot longer when using a car compared to a cargo bike.

Should cities of Western and Central Europe expect a cargo bike sharing revolution? Well, according to the lecturers on the opening presentation of ICBF 2016 - cargo-bike enthusiasts from UK, Germany, Austria and France, amongst others that’s just what’s about to happen. Yes, they all have their own challenges, but these guys running their own cargo bike sharing companies or movements seem to be more than sustainable.

Outspoken Delivery’s Gary Armstrong mentioned an interesting issue – the cargo bike training. The thing is that average or below-average users often overestimate their cargo bike riding ability. Handling a 50 pound box – well, that’s a problem for a beginner. So they developed a 5-step training process. Their only problem: they have to charge people for the training.

As far as Germany is concerned, there’s already a dozen of cities that have their own cargo-sharing fleets, ranging from 10 to 25 bikes. Cologne, Konstanz, Hamburg, Stuttgart… You name it. The latter two have a cargo bike sharing system integrated in their “regular” bike sharing schemes. Their main challenge is funding: how to get a piece of the cake from the Ministry of the environment’s 40 million euro heavy funding scheme, since one of the points is exactly transport by bikes. Another point of view came from the other side of the Channel.

One thing is certain: events like ICBF will stimulate development of cargo bike use and overcome problems.


Containerization for cargo bikes “I believe the use of bike containers could be a way to improve and increase cargo”, Johan Erlandsson of Velove in Sweden states. This belief is strengthened by Kees Verweij from Buck Consultants International. “Globally the advent of sea containers meant a revolution for cargo. The ships are becoming larger, and with 20,000 containers per ship it is a very cheap option. A bottle of wine from Australia only costs one to two cents to ship to the Netherlands. When it comes to local distribution there are a lot of handlings to get the products to the end consumer. Cargo bikes can smoothen this process, and if we can successfully use containers in the bike industry we can lower the cost locally as well.” Erlandsson adds: “There are several advantages of using containers in the process


of international cargo. Compared to pallets, sacks and roller cages they have better theft protection, more stacking possibilities during transportation and easy pre-sorting for faster delivery and a smooth process. But there are still a lot of issues that need to be amplified. DHL Express already started using containers with a minimized infrastructure investment. Their sorting terminals are 25 kilometers from the city centre, so it is not economically viable for the cargo quadricycles. From the sorting terminals vans therefor drive the parcels to the city centre, where the cargo bikes take over. The vans continue to deliver parcels in rural areas. This is currently the best combination. There are many upcoming developments that will increase possibilities for cargo bikes, and containerization is definitely one of them.”

international cargo bike festival 2016

The challenge: transporting europallets One of the biggest challenges for the cargo bike industry is the transportation of euro pallets. It is a challenge worth every effort, said researcher Tom Assmann from the German Institute of Logistics and Material Handling Systems. The transportation of euro pallets requires an approach that enables the large scale handling of pallets, through city hubs and even loading docks. In this model, lorries can be used for transportation of cargo between cities. There they unload the pallets at a city hub, using a traditional loading dock. In the city hub, the pallets are being transferred to a loading dock especially designed for cargo bikes. Assmann is convinced this could increase efficiency in cycle logistics. Attention should also be paid to unloading the goods upon arriving at the end user. A mechanism should be designed in order to unload the pallet quickly and efficient, because the pallet would have to be lowered onto the ground. Assmann suggests to use a foldable cargo lift for this purpose, similar to the ones that are currently being used in trucking.



visitors’ impressions

On a road trip to follow the latest developments in cargo biking, for Cargo startup from Germany. He is very enthusiastic about the international cargo bike community present here. ralph klein

It is cool to see all the new designs. I never imagined cargo bikes could get this big!

very proud that ‘his city’ Nijmegen is hosting ICBF again! He likes to hear from the international visitors how policy makers can facilitate cargo bikes better.

Trey Hahn

martijn de lintelo 13

international cargo bike festival 2016

How to facilitate growing bike usage?

Stefan Bendiks

The rising popularity of bicycles and cargo bikes, form a challenge for city planners, said co-founder Stefan Bendiks of Artgineering. The problem is that cargo bikes take up a lot of space and they are usually slower than ordinary bicycles. This can cause problems on bike lanes that are already getting crowded. Urban planners and traffic experts should be aware of these issues. Otherwise the cargo bike might end up having the same horrible reputation as its big motorized pendant: the truck.


“In the past century, we modeled our cities to facilitate traffic by car and truck. The question I am asking now, is whether we should do the same for bikes?� Riding a bike is about freedom, it is a social experience. And most importantly: to most people it is fun. Bendiks worries that with imposing strict rules on riding and parking bicycles, like we did with cars, might squeeze out that fun-factor. Which might also harm the interests of the cargo bike industry.


is also possible. That is our biggest challenge at the moment: to work on our nationwide coverage”, says Mark Potters. He continues: “Next to the advantages of green transportation and unburdening densely populated areas, we focus on service and flexibility. With our bike couriers we can deliver in residential areas during evening hours in a greener way and making less noise than a delivery truck does. Another important development is the cargo capacity of the bikes. Currently the only affordable and durable bikes have a rather small capacity. The ICBF plays an important role stimulating the development of larger capacity cargo bikes.”

mark potters “ strives to be the fastest and most service oriented cargo bike package delivery service of the Netherlands. The cargo bike industry is growing, because the possibilities are increasing and demand is growing. In order to compete with traditional couriers we need to increase the amount of distribution hubs, so delivery outside the big cities

Potters: “I believe in the future the consumer will also play a role in the increase of cargo bike usage. At the moment consumers don’t really have a choice when it comes to delivery options, but we are currently cooperating with web shops to give consumers the option to choose for green delivery.”

Bubble Post: rapid growth

Felix Vanvuchelen

Bubble Post now uses a cargo bike that was custom made for the company by Evolo. It carries a large container that can hold a euro pallet. Also, it is easy to slide the container off the bike and it is designed so that a forklift can carry it.

Since it was founded in 2013, the Belgium company Bubble Post is growing rapidly. Nowadays its cyclists deliver goods in fourteen cities in Belgium and it is gaining ground in the Netherlands, says Felix Vanvuchelen. With a turnover currently of 300,000 euro a month, the company is hungry for more.

The company specializes in first and last mile logistics and it also operates storage facilities just outside its main cities. Although the company is big in cycle logistics, it also uses electricity powered minivans and vans that run on natural gas for transports between cities.

To achieve growth, Bubble Post is looking to team up with local entrepreneurs in EU-countries. But it is also striving to optimize its service by technical innovation. By using specially designed it-systems, by bundling cargo and integrating different streams of cargo, it managed a 97 percent first-trydelivery.


international cargo bike festival 2016

Cargo bikes as a solution for livable cities  

  – Daniel fernando pardo gallego



Angela van der Kloof Pro-E-Bike / Mobycon

“Our goal is to improve cycle logistics in European cities. Cargo bikes are reasonably new, but the developments go fast. At ICBF I would like to exchange knowledge and experience. Hopefully in 5 years bikes will contribute to more liveable cities.”

“We recently wrote an essay on the future of the E-bike in relation to cars and other transportation methods. I came to the ICBF to check out the latest developments and meet people in the field. The possibilities and usage of bikes are increasing, and I hope cities will make more use of these possibilities in densely populated areas.”

Freya De Muynck Cycle Logistics Project









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To convince policy-makers they should help cycle logistics to thrive in their cities, we need evidence that it works. To convince manufacturers and designers we need well-made cargo and e-cargo cycles and we need evidence that there is a growing market for their products. To obtain this information the European Cycle Logistics Federation conducted he European Cycle Logistics Survey 2016 on behalf of cycle logistics operators. We currently know very little about the scope and scale of cycle logistics in terms of number of operators, types of services provided, size of cycle fleet operated, common problems experienced with the fleet, financial information on turnover, costs and prices, or services provided to the traditional logistics industry. This ECLF survey will provide us with answers.

• Survey sent to over 400 contacts • 75 valid responses received – a 19% participation rate. There are likely to be a further 75 operators who did not respond to the survey • Cycle logistics is running in 18 countries in 93 cities and towns across Europe • Big increase in cycle logistics operators since 2010 – 54 start-ups since 2010 • Survey participants are operating between 280 & 581 cargo bikes/trikes and between 232 & 453 standard cycles and trailers

• Across 38 survey participants between them 12,000 to 19,000 packages per day are being delivered • Just over 50% of operators are providing last mile services to the traditional logistics operators • The predominant type of deliveries is b2b (96%) with b2c (85%) • Over 30% of operators are using remote micro-consolidation centres • Financial turnover of operators providing cycle logistics solutions ranges from €10,000 to over €1m

Above is only a small snapshot of the results – the data is still to being analysed and full results should be available early in May 2016. All participants taking part in the survey will receive a detailed results report. If you would also like to receive a summary of the results of the survey, contact gary.



Day 2 of ICBF 2016


international cargo bike festival 2016

Cargo Bike Parade



the Cargo Bike Fair


international cargo bike festival 2016


editorial Preparation and composition


Linda van Schuijlenborgh

Jos Sluijsmans



Marjet van Veelen

Design & Image editing

Editorial staff

Winneke de Groot

Daan Marselis

Willem Verweijen

Romy van den Nieuwenhof

Jop van der Kroef

Ivan Podraza Angelique van Helvoort

Partners / Sponsors

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