What used to be a large brown box on four wheels powered by a gas engine that rolled up to your business with deliveries, may now come by way of a small, electric powered cargo bike thanks to the United Parcel Service’s (UPS) new e-Bike delivery program in Seattle.
Indeed, UPS and the Seattle Department of Transportation have introduced a new delivery program in the city’s historic Pike Place Market using pedal-assisted cargo e-bikes, equipped with sizable modular trailers.
According to UPS, the premise of the cargo e-bike project is to better facilitate deliveries to areas conventional delivery trucks can’t access directly and currently require vehicles to be parked on the periphery for long periods.
“This will reduce congestion in these areas by reducing truck dwell time, instances of double parking and other unintended consequences associated with downtown deliveries,” UPS said in a press release.
The program is utilizing the Portland-based Silver Eagle Manufacturing’s Truck Trike cargo e-bikes, which feature detachable boxes on the bikes’ trailers that have a capacity of 95 cubic feet and can hold up to 400 pounds.
“While we have launched cycle logistic projects in other cities, this is the first one designed to meet a variety of urban challenges,” said Scott Phillippi, UPS’s senior director of maintenance and engineering, international operations. “The modular boxes and trailer allow us to expand our delivery capabilities and meet the unique needs of our Seattle customers. It’s exciting to return to our roots — UPS started in Seattle in 1907 as a bicycle messenger company, We’re looking forward to being able to offer these customizable urban delivery solutions to other cities nationwide.”
UPS says they will evaluate the program alongside the University of Washington’s Urban Freight Lab over the next year, and will share the findings as it relates to improved deliveries. If the program is successful, UPS says it will expand the initial coverage area and consider additional cargo e-bike delivery in other parts of the city.
“Seattle has always been the city that invents the future, and now we are partnering with one of our hometown companies to help drive innovations in transportation,” Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan said.
“As Seattle grows and public and private megaprojects limit capacity on our downtown streets, this pilot will help us better understand how we can ensure the delivery of goods while making space on our streets for transit, bikes and pedestrians. We are eager to learn how pilots like these can help build a city of the future with fewer cars, more transit and less carbon pollution.”
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