UPS's "rolling laboratory" includes a three-wheel delivery vehicle well suited for narrow streets.
For decades, UPS's iconic brown fleet has been an international symbol for: Hey, there's a delivery coming! While the delivery truck does well with hauling large boxes, navigating congested, centuries-old roads – especially those in European center cities – is more challenging.
“Cargo bikes offer a distinct advantage to UPS, as it reduces the time spent on searching for a suitable parking position, saving valuable time.” – Philip Healey, marketing manager for UPS Switzerland.
Through its "rolling laboratory" – a fleet of more than 5,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles – UPS tests options for alternative fuels and technologies in real time across various terrains. UPS has been exploring the economic viability and environmental benefits of electrical-powered cargo bikes for package pickup and delivery with a pilot in downtown Basel, Switzerland. The city, packed (quite literally) to the brim with 13th-century architecture and narrow streets, is an ideal testing ground for the new three-wheeled delivery vehicle. However, this is not the first time UPS has put its delivery innovations on European streets. Battery-aided cargo bikes are already used in Hamburg, Germany, for example.
The battery-supported tricycles used in Basel can carry loads weighing more than 325 pounds. Thanks to its compact design and width of just 40 inches, the bike makes sense for urban use.
"By using cargo bikes in a targeted manner, UPS aims to reduce inner-city congestion, noise and emissions," says Philip Healey, marketing manager for UPS Switzerland. "This form of urban delivery also offers a distinct advantage to UPS itself, as it reduces the time spent on searching for a suitable parking position, saving valuable time."
The Basel pilot project is part of the global UPS initiative to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For more information on UPS's sustainability efforts, visit ups.com/sustainability. To see how UPS is progressing to meet ambitious sustainability goals, click here.