DHL Delivers Packages with Electric Recumbents

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DHL Express has introduced a new vehicle to its fleet in the Netherlands that will further enhance its efforts to improve its carbon efficiency. The "Cubicycle" is a quadracycle with a removable container that has a cargo volume of one cubic meter. Key advantages of the bicycle in comparison with similar types of non-motorized transport are its volume and better integration into DHL's operational systems. The first Cubicycle has been deployed in the Dutch city of Almere.

The Cubicycle is built by Flevobike in Dronten, a manufacturer of recumbent bicycles. The reclining position and the speed that comes from this position are features of the Cubicycle, as well as electric power assistance that allow for faster acceleration from a starting position. "The Cubicycle is comfortable to ride and is surprisingly agile with a tight turning circle," said Kees de Lange, Vice President of Operations at DHL Express Netherlands. "Despite the large container, the bike fits perfectly on bike lanes. The height of the bike has been tailored so that other riders can see over it unhindered. This is a key distinguishing factor of the Cubicycle compared to other existing high volume bicycles."

On an average ride, the container can be loaded with 125 kg of shipments.

The Cubicycle's container is preloaded in an operational facility of DHL Express. Thanks to its dimensions (80 x 120 x 100 cm), which correspond to the size of a standard shipping pallet, it is easy to integrate into the company's standardized shipment handling process. The container is delivered to a location near the city center, from where the bike starts its route. This makes the process even more efficient. A significant difference with the other 35 bikes DHL uses in Dutch cities is the fact that higher volume parcels can be delivered. Compared to the Parcycle (parcel transportation cycle), and also the backpack used in combination with a standard bicycle, the container of the Cubicycle offers much more space. On an average ride, it can be loaded with 125 kg of shipments and the courier is expected to cycle about 50 kilometers per day

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