In the hall of a former Berlin car repair shop which has been converted into a modern parcel handling centre DPD Germany is now putting a micro-depot into operation. With two leading-edge, heavy-duty electric cargo bikes from the Berlin start-up ONO and four additional cargo bikes, locally emission-free parcel deliveries will be made to the surrounding districts of Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg, Pankow and Lichtenberg. Initially the volume will be 400 parcels per day, with quantities rising in future thanks to the possibility of re-loading the cargo bikes at the micro-depot.

The micro-depot in Berlin is a further building block in DPD’s DrivingChangeTM sustainability strategy. This is the company’s response to the rising volume of parcels generated by the rapid growth in e-commerce. Along the last mile the interplay of micro-depots, electric cargo bikes and intelligent charging infrastructure is both efficient and environmentally friendly, especially in residential areas with a high density of consignees and a large number of stops.

As the micro-depot is supplied in the morning by an electrically powered VW eCrafter, locally the delivery of these parcels is completely free from emissions.

An all-round transport system ensures efficiency gains 

DPD already has experience in parcel delivery with cargo bikes in Berlin:

“We supplied parts of the delivery area with pedelec bikes during our participation in the KoMoDo cross-provider cargo bike project, which was funded by the federal government. In the process we also discovered that there was still potential for development in the available cargo bike models, especially in the areas of reliability and after sales. We have used different models here as well as in other cities over an extended period of time. We are pleased to be able to deploy another professional model in the form of the three-wheeled e-cargo bike ONO PAT, and are looking forward to working with it,” explains Gerd Seber, Group Manager Sustainability & Innovation at DPD. “After the end of the KoMoDo project we started looking for suitable locations for our own micro-depot, and found what we were looking for on the edge of the Prenzlauer Berg district. The surrounding delivery area mainly consists of private consignees, and the stop density of the delivery tours is correspondingly high. Such areas are ideally suited for parcel deliveries by cargo bike.”

The DPD micro-depot is located next to the Sprint petrol station in Kniprode Street. The company started to adapt to the change in mobility at an early stage. A 75KW high-performance charging station is already in operation at the Sprint filling station, which can also be used by the VW eCrafter that supplies the micro-depot, together with a modern battery swap station operated by the Berlin battery-as-a-service provider Swobbee. From now on this will also be used by the micro-depot to supply the cargo bikes with energy. Empty batteries can be exchanged for full ones at the Swobbee station in a matter of seconds. As a result the e-fleet will always remain mobile and DPD will not need to set up and operate its own charging infrastructure. The innovative electric cargo bikes from ONO look like small e-vans and have a range of around 60 kilometres. With their powerful GreenPack batteries and exchangeable cargo units with a capacity of 2m³ each they are ideal for professional use in city logistics.

Source: Le Grourpe La Poste