May 2016
New study on the potential for the commercial use of cargo bikes in Germany

New study on the potential for the commercial use of cargo bikes in Germany

The German Ministry for Transport has published a comprehensive study on the use of bicycles for commercial transport. The responsible state secretary Dorothee Bär stated that many still underestimate the potential of cargo bikes to contribute to a more environmentally friendly and efficient transport of goods in urban areas, especially on the last mile.

The study calculates that there are currently already 52.000 cargo bikes in use in Germany – 30.000 of which are used for postal deliveries.
Within the study a very conservative potential for the use of cargo bikes was calculated. The calculation was based on a study “Kraftfahrzeugverkehr in Deutschland 2010 (KID). For the resulting 3.9 mio of trips of cars and small vans 2 scenarios were calculated, resulting in a maximal potential to shift 23% of the trips in urban areas. (The current use of 52.000 cargo bikes equates to approximately 8%). Because the calculations were done with the assumption that the maximal weight of the transported goods is 50 kg and the maximal distance travelled is 20 km a day - it is easy to see that the potential would increase with more realistic values. It is known that bicycle couriers regularly ride distances over 80 km a day and heavy duty cargo bikes easily transport 250 kg.
Within the study there is also mention of the European Cyclelogistics Federation and with it the coupled recommendation to form strong networks and cooperations in order to increase visibility and raise awareness among all target groups. Also the label of the ECLF – “delivered by bike” is included in the study as a good practice example.
The ministry also intends to publish guidelines with recommendations for different regions of Germany.

Here is the link to the Final Report (german)

Contact: Susanne Wrighton

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