Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Velopost Cycling Logistics Are Great!

It sounds like an odd sentence but it’s true, they are genuinely great. They replace heavy, congestion causing, smog belching, fossil fuel consuming motor vehicles and replace them with quiet, clean, healthy bikes.

Bicycles have many benefits when replacing the traditional fossil fuel vehicles of the logistics and supply chain. They help to reduce congestion throughout the city which makes cities easier to move around and safer for pedestrians and other cyclists, they don’t pump out smoke and fumes so the air quality improves making people happier and healthier, they get noticed, because the idea is still quite new and novel and most importantly they help businesses to save the environment and often more cheaply than other methods.

Quite a lot of businesses want to save the environment but they can’t always afford to take massive projects to install solar panels or replace all of their lights with LED’s , however cycle logistics often offer a way to save the environment and some of your hard earned cash.

“But what can I use cycle logistics for and where can I find them?” I’m sure I hear you cry, well this guide will give you the basic info on five different services the cycle logistics industry provides and where to find them.

1. Parcel Delivery 

Let’s start with an obvious one. Bicycles have been delivering parcels in cities for decades, in fact a whole industry, cargo bikes, has grown around providing these entrepreneurial individuals with a means of carrying heavy and bulky packages safely and efficiently on a bicycle.

The bicycle parcel delivery industry is a busy one and most major cities have several companies offering this service. Not only does this mean you can get your parcels delivered emission free but you can also get them delivered much more cheaply.

Because bicycles cost a fraction of the cost of a van to buy and maintain and don’t need fuel you should be able to get your parcels delivered for as little as one third of the cost of traditional couriers.

2. Document Couriers 

This one is less likely to be needed by everyone but quite a lot of people have had the need to send documents urgently from one place to another within a matter of hours. This service is obviously usually more expensive than your bog standard cycle couriers and can be anything up to £10 for a single letter but you get good bang for your buck. Bristol Cycle Couriers who also operate in Cardiff will collect you mail item within 15 minutes and ride it directly to any address within a mile all for less than £10 (http://www.cyclecouriers.com/bristol/delivery_zone/ ).

Also, if you need it there fast then by bike is often quicker as it’s not slowed by traffic and can be taken by cycle routes to avoid the delays.

3. Pedicabs (Rickshaws) 

So, a little less obvious then, pedicabs offer a fossil fuel free way of getting around town. Basically a taxi service but powered by pedalling not by petrol.

Pedicabs not only help to save the environment and often get you around as quickly as  a car, thanks to a bicycles ability to skip around and through traffic, but they also give you a unique way to see the city you live in.

You get to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the city as if you were walking or cycling yourself but without all that hard work.

Excellent for anything from a leisure tour of your local area to genuine inner city business transportation they offer an interesting way of getting around and show people that you care about the environment.

They also provide a brilliant talking point if you turn up to your next meeting in one!
A lot of businesses have a taxi firm on speed dial, why not switch to a pedicab company instead?

4. Advertising 

You may think this seems a little bit strange but, if you think about it, this makes perfect sense. You want to get your message out there, you want people to know you’re green and your clients are mainly in the city you work in.

Then look no further than cycle logistics. Many different logistics companies sell advertising space on their bicycles, cargo bikes, uniforms or rickshaws and they get noticed.

It’s not every day you mail, parcel, contract or friend is delivered by bike and this has impact. People stop the cyclists and ask questions, they want to know what they are doing and why especially if they have seen them all over the city.

It can be an interesting way of getting your message out there and sends a clear message to your potential clients, you support local businesses and you want to help save the environment. That’s a pretty good message to send.

5. Mail Delivery 

I’ve saved the best till last, though I am slightly biased. If your business sends letters, and many do, then sending them via a local bicycle delivery service not only saves you a lot of money over Royal Mail’s exorbitant prices, but also makes a significant impact on the environment.

We have calculated that each letter sent via bicycle delivery instead of via gas guzzling diesel vans prevents the emission of 17.9 grams of CO2. In a single year we have calculated that, at Velopost, we prevent the emission of roughly 10.74 tonnes of CO2.

On average one litre of petrol produces 2.4 kg of CO2, so every year Velopost prevents the equivalent of burning 4475 litres of petrol.

That’s a lot of petrol.

On top of all of this having your mail delivered by bicycle is another good way of getting noticed. As I said before people ask questions and are excited by it and even tweet about it.

A Cleaner, Greener Logistics

So in conclusion cycle logistics can help you to save money, get noticed by your clients (in the right way) and can help you save the environment.

There’s almost no reason not to do it! For more information on the cycle services available in your city and for links to the websites of those mentioned check out the following websites:

http://federation.cyclelogistics.eu/content/home
http://velopost.co.uk/
http://www.cyclecouriers.com/bristol/

Happy cycling everyone!
Joe Broadway – CEO of Velopost