Plenty of opportunities for cargo bikes in city logistics

In a new brochure, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) outlines the opportunities for cargo bikes as a sustainable and economical alternative in urban logistics. Discover the rise of this environmentally friendly mode of transport and the role that the customers of DOCKR play in it.


The Netherlands has been leading the world when it comes to cycling for years, states RVO. Therefore, it is not surprising that the development of cargo bikes has taken off here. Dutch manufacturers like Urban Arrow are at the leading edge in the development of high-quality cargo bikes. These are rapidly evolving from means of transport for families into true cargo bikes.

Technically, cargo bikes have improved significantly in recent years. The bikes are sturdier than before and equipped with more robust components. Brakes nowadays often come from the motorcycle industry and electric motors are of increasingly better quality. The expectation of RFO is that developments will not stop. Manufacturers are coming up with better and better technical solutions that reduce wear and tear and make maintenance less frequently necessary.


More and more cargo bikes in the Netherlands

Meanwhile, the use of cargo bikes is increasing in the Netherlands. The government cites the influence of policies on making logistics more sustainable. Cities are encouraging livability by giving bicycles more space and, for example, establishing emission-free zones. Transport en Logistiek Nederland estimates that the number of cargo bikes will increase in record time: from 3,500 in 2022 to almost 10,000 in 2025.


Why choose the cargo bike?

The RVO lists four compelling reasons:

1. It creates opportunities to optimize your logistics process: delivery drivers move faster and more efficiently through busy city centers with a cargo bike than with a delivery van.

2. It saves you costs: a cargo bike is 10 to 15 percent cheaper than a delivery van.

3. The bike is a sustainable alternative: compared to a diesel bus, an electric cargo bike emits 88% less CO2 from production to use, and 65% less compared to an electric bus.

4. You expand the pool of potential employees: to ride a cargo bike you do not need a driver’s license, this has advantages in recruiting staff.


Which entrepreneurs choose the cargo bike?

The RVO distinguishes three types of entrepreneurs for whom the cargo bike is particularly interesting:

1. Parcel delivery companies,

2. Shopkeepers who deliver their own products

3. Service logistics

Parcel delivery companies may include the large postal companies as well as webshops’ own delivery services. A special type of company is meal delivery. The RVO gives Marleen Kookt as an example, which delivers freshly prepared meals at home daily on DOCKR cargo bikes.

For retailers, cargo bikes are also a great way to deliver products to their customers. This is often not the entrepreneur’s main activity but in support of sales of flowers, wine or clothing.

With service logistics, you can think of service providers who visit customers. Such as entrepreneurs with an installation company, a painter, a physical therapist or a doctor.


Mobile billboard

Research among all these types of entrepreneurs shows that using cargo bikes improves efficiency and flexibility in the last mile to the customer. The cargo bike is not only great for use in the city, but also a good marketing tool. With your company name and logo on your cargo bike, you are riding around with a mobile billboard. And don’t underestimate the green appeal of such a logistics solution!


Ready for the zero-emission zones

The examples listed by the RVO show the potential of the cargo bike. Car-free inner cities and zero-emission zones will only contribute to this in the coming years. Dozens of Dutch cities will establish such zones starting in 2025. That is a very good reason to review your logistics: cargo bikes are very suitable for supplying in pedestrian areas, for example. By switching your logistic processes now, you are ready for zero-emission zones. 

Governments encourage the use of cargo bikes with subsidies and tax schemes. Entrepreneurs can contact The RVO for schemes that provide tax benefits, such as the Environmental Investment Deduction, which encourages companies to invest in assets that are better for the environment. The investment deduction when buying a cargo bike can be as high as 45 percent.



More sympathetic than a diesel van

In addition, goals of business owners themselves regarding sustainability are a big driver for the switch to cargo bikes. People usually find such a green mode of transport more sympathetic than, say, a diesel van. Social motives can also play a role: entrepreneurs want to give more people a chance in the labor market.



Curious about DOCKR?

Are you also curious about the possibilities for your company? A subscription to DOCKR is a pleasant way of entering the world of cargo bikes. You do not have to worry about service and maintenance. A subscription offers a carefree, flexible and sustainable solution for your logistics.

Want to know more about a subscription with DOCKR? Contact our experts for a tailor-made logistics solution.