Agile logistics: electric cargo bikes ensure sustainable transport at DB Schenker

Astonishingly agile and flexible, the small vehicle drives down the ramp in the export hall, turns off and disappears through the gate in urban traffic. It took less than two minutes for Friedrich Stachwitz to leave DB Schenker’s office in Berlin with his electric cargo bike. His load consists of smaller cargo shipments for customers throughout the city. It’s 8:30 am and the delivery service at the office is in full swing.

“In the foreseeable future, we could be on the road with ten to twenty such bikes,” explains Andreas Herrmann. “If the cargo bikes can pick up entire pallets, then we can integrate them much more into our network – and then we roll it out properly.” Hermann is Deputy Production Manager at the Berlin office and has been dealing with new forms of mobility for years. The reason is simple: the infrastructure is aging, but traffic is increasing, and even today there are not enough truck drivers. If you want to offer reliable and time-critical shipments at competitive prices, you have to come up with something. Just like DB Schenker.

Andreas Hermann Deputy Production Manager at the Berlin office

“In the foreseeable future, we could be on the road with ten to twenty such bikes”

e-bikes in local traffic

The logistics specialist has been using cargo bikes for a long time. Abroad, especially in the busy metropolises of this world. But now DB Schenker is testing the use of electrically operated cargo bikes in Germany. Velogista is the partner in Berlin. With its ten bikes, the young company offers emission-free and sustainable transports in the Berlin urban area. In cooperation with DB Schenker, it will provide two bikes for the Berlin location, including drivers.

In the morning and ready for the first route, Friedrich Stachwitz, one of two drivers, arrives at the Schenker Deutschland AG office. There, the dispatchers set the shipments intended for him during the night. In the export hall, they are now ready to be loaded onto the bike. Stachwitz goes through the papers, checks them and then loads everything onto his bike. He is allowed to carry 250 kilograms. The battery can travel 35 kilometers, up to a speed of 25 km / h. Everything beyond that is footwork. “Berlin is not so mountainous,” explains Stachwitz rather cheerfully. “But many loading zones can only be accessed via a ramp. Up or down – this is exhausting. “

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Stachwitz drives up to five tours a day. Across Berlin, between 10 and 35 kilometers per tour. Some days he delivers up to 1.5 tons of freight to the customer. The route also includes the Velogista mini-hub in Kreuzberg, where shipments are stored that go to the southeast of Berlin. “It’s all fun for me,” says Stachwitz, the exercise and dealing with customers. Often he is faster than regular trucks, because he can use bus lane and bike lanes and ride one-way streets in the opposite direction.

DB Schenker continues to develop concepts

“We are glad that we can experiment with this form of transport,” says Herrmann. The experiment is the same for disposition. The effort is higher for cargo bikes. Not only because the routes are different. “We also have to take a closer look at the dimensions and weight of the consignments,” says dispatcher Alexander Bubke. “Basically, I think: Electromobility is already a great thing,” says Bubke, who has already experienced a lot of developments in his 25 years of professional experience.

“#city logistics becomes easier and more sustainable with the ebike, an electric cargo bike“

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DB Schenker is also constantly developing its own transport concepts. For the urban deliveries, the logistics company uses rather small 3.5-ton trucks instead of large trucks. And for urban logistics, DB Schenker has been testing e-mobility for commercial vehicles for some time now. In the iHub project, the company is testing the use of electric trucks in the logistics center’s normal daily routine. Here, too, more and more customers are focusing on making their supply chains reliable as well as sustainable.