Foto: RLVD / Sven Buschmeier

First German Cycle Logistics Conference: Urban logistics to become more Sustainable

The first National Cycle Logistics Conference in Berlin welcomed over 250 guests, including pioneers, manufacturers, local authorities and logistics experts to discuss the huge potential of cargo bikes. The conference was organized by the Radlogistik Verband Deutschland e.V. (German Cycle Logistics Association (RLVD) - German branch of the CCCB partner ECLF).


The conference concluded that the current role of cycle logistics by no means corresponds to its potential of relieving the urban delivery burden! Tapping into to its full potential could see about 30% of delivery services being replaced with cargo bikes in the future. The goal of the conference was to make urban logistics sustainable: "Modern electric cargo bikes with a large load volume can make an important contribution to this by completing small last-mile

deliveries," said RLVD Chairman Martin Schmidt.

The conference also received strong political support. Regine Günther, Berlin Senator for Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, considers cargo bikes to be a central component of future urban logistics: "When it comes to collectively pushing solutions forward, you have my support." assured Regine Günther. She pointed out that Berlin drivers were stuck in traffic jams for 154 hours. "The fact that we have to change something here is indispensable; climate protection demands a turnaround. Online commerce ensures more traffic.”

Steffen Bilger, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, stressed the importance of cycle logistics:


"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Cycle logistics is one of the necessary innovative means for saving emissions and reducing traffic congestion in our cities.” Bilger wants to achieve a turnaround not so much through "bans and price increases" as by means of incentives and innovations.

The politician considers cargo bike logistics to be part of the electrification of freight transport: "pilot projects show that cargo bikes can replace a van 1:1 in certain environments," Bilger explained. Rainer Kiehl, City Logistics Project Manager at UPS, confirmed: In the Munich flagship project, a van was replaced with two cargo bikes. 66 percent of the low emission zone and 95 percent of the neighbourhood were supplied with cargo bikes. Although, he sees additional room for improvement regarding efficiency.

RLVD aims to improve conditions for cycling with cargo bikes

On a typical working day, thousands of trucks deliver hundreds of thousands of parcels in Berlin - and the trend is steadily rising. This results in clogged city centers, congested streets and worsening levels of air pollution. High numbers of motorized delivery services in inner cities negatively impact urban life quality.


To counteract this trend, the RLVD wants to create a transport and infrastructure policy with the corresponding legal framework. "We want to improve the conditions for bicycle traffic as a whole and especially for commercial bicycle traffic with cargo bikes and load trailers. This will make it possible to turn around traffic logistics ," said Schmidt. For the RLVD, it is crucial that both politicians and municipalities work together on solutions. "As an association, we are happy to support all stakeholders in order to get more loads onto cargo bikes," said Arne Behrensen, (RLVD Board Member, and CCCB partner)

Although, some changes and progress can already be observed in Germany.

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer wants to get more loads on cargo bikes. Only recently, he set the target of allocating 20 percent of urban delivery traffic to cargo bikes. State Secretary Bilger brought further positive news to the conference. It is planned in the amendment to the StVO that cargo bikes may now be parked at the edge of roadways. Additionally, loading zones will be designated for cargo bikes and a new traffic sign created.

Cycling does not play an insignificant role in the government's new climate protection package. The ADFC representative also conceded this: "There is a lot of swirling in the climate protection package, but the passages relating to cycling have potential," said Burkhard Stork, Director of the German Cyclists` Association.

Overall, participants enjoyed a successful conference and welcomed the new conference format. The organizer already announced a repeat in spring 2021.

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