DHL ROLLS OUT ITS CUBICYCLE IN NEW YORK CITY, PARTICIPATING IN NEW PILOT PROGRAM TO TEST THE USE OF CARGO BIKES TO ALLEVIATE TRAFFIC CONGESTION

Press Release: New York, N.Y., 21/04/2019

  • Introduced in 2015, DHL is now using Cubicycles in several countries including Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • Benefits for shippers and consumers: Zero carbon emissions, reduced road traffic and noise pollution, faster deliveries, lower operating costs, increased safety for drivers and pedestrians 

DHL, the world’s leading international express shipping company, is rolling out its Cubicycle in New York City, participating in a pilot program to test the use of cargo bikes to alleviate traffic congestion as well as lessen air and noise pollution in the city’s crowded streets. Deploying the Cubicycle in Manhattan fits in with DHL’s ambitious environmental targets which include achieving net zero emissions from transport activities by 2050 and performing at least70 percent of pick-ups and deliveries with green energy solutions such as electric vehicles and bikes by 2025.

”Cargo bicycles will play an important role in hitting our environmental targets. The DHL Cubicycle has enjoyed great success in Europe, with each bicycle deployed taking at least one conventional delivery van off the road, helping to relieve congestion and increasing our service levels,” said Mike Parra, DHL Express Americas CEO. “We are grateful to the City of New York for enabling this pilot and hope to see the DHL Cubicycle have a similar positive impact on the city’s transport network.” 

The pilot program announced today by New York City encourages all freight companies to use cargo bikes on city streets during an initial six-month trial period. The initial participants are DHL, Amazon and UPS and as many as 100 bikes will be deployed in Manhattan’s Central Business District south of 60th Street. The City’s Department of Transportation will collect information about speed, parking, use of bike lanes and size of the bikes to determine if they are an efficient option to help relieve traffic congestion.

“DOT is excited to announce this pilot to make freight deliveries in NYC safer and greener by encouraging the use of electric cargo bikes instead of trucks,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With trucks involved in a disproportionately high number of cyclist fatalities in New York City this year, we are especially interested in the safety benefits this pilot can bring to our streets. We thank DHL, not only for its participation in this pilot, but also for its leadership in promoting cargo bike delivery.  We hope the company can serve as an example to other freight companies to join and help us make this pilot a success.”

DHL has been an early adopter of using bikes as an alternative delivery option in crowded city centers. First introduced in 2015 in the Netherlands, the Cubicycle now is being used in Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong and Singapore. DHL has about 85 cargo bikes in its ground fleet globally, including Cubicycles and a smaller Parcycle, a two-wheel bike with cargo box. This pilot program will be the first use of the Cubicycle in the U.S.

The Cubicycle has several features that make it attractive for delivery operations in heavy traffic areas: a reclining seat that provides greater comfort, safety and speed for the courier; electric pedal assistance for additional speed and support in climbing hills and making it easier to handle within a tight turning radius. The removable containers are secure, waterproof and offer a large capacity for packages but are low enough to the ground so as to not impair the view of other cyclists on the road. They can be equipped with GPS transmitters to facilitate real-time shipment tracking and monitoring for security purposes. The bikes are also self-powered through the use of solar panels.

By replacing a conventional delivery vehicle, each deployed Cubicycle is expected to reduce carbon emissions by up to eight metric tons per year. The bikes reduce the use of energy by up to 90 percent compared to electric vans and even more when compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines.

In the U.S., DHL maintains a robust alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) fleet, which includes fully electric, hybrid-electric, compressed natural gas (CNG) and clean diesel. In 2011, the company put in place an all-green fleet in Manhattan fully comprised of electric and hybrid vans. Earlier this year, it announced that it was adding 63 NGEN-1000 electric delivery cargo vans that would be rolled out in the San Francisco Bay area and Long Island City, N.Y.