Micromobility is emerging as the smart way to move freight in our city centres. Small, environmentally-friendly and space-efficient vehicles can have a competitive advantage over cars, vans and trucks in busy and dense city centres, where space to move and to park is increasingly at a premium.
Schemes to integrate micromobility in the last mile delivery task are already showing favourable outcomes:
- Following improvements to the cycling network, Uber Eats in Toronto has seen a 40% increase in deliveries by bike between 2019 and 2020.
- PostNL in Utrecht has achieved a reduction in CO² emissions of around 35,000 kg per year by switching to micromobility.
- Use of micro-logistics hubs in London could reduce traffic volumes by 13% and reduce harmful vehicle-related air emissions by 17% by 2025, through the consolidation of deliveries and a shift to micromobility for the last mile deliveries.
- Preliminary results from Bogota’s Bici Carga trial show that up to 4.2 tons of emissions could be avoided per year by using cargo e-bikes for last mile deliveries.
- A pilot project in New York resulted in a 109% increase in deliveries by cargo bikes.
Delivering by micromobility is not the right option in all places. Success will depend on the city’s density, urban form, the operating environment, size and type of delivery, operator willingness and proximity to customers. But where these ingredients come together, the last mile freight task is ripe for disruption to create better outcomes for cities and improved efficiencies for businesses.