Let your business get a boost from cargo bikes
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Cargo bikes are coming to a business near you - so why don’t the commercial real estate and FM community see the potential? Andrew Brown explains.
The nature of every single economic sector in the UK has shifted dramatically since the Covid pandemic. As Covid recedes it is leaving a landscape that has changed so much, it needs a different method of navigation. Transport, and especially logistics, is an obvious example. The demand for goods, services and materials to be delivered everywhere, particularly at home, has caused a seismic shift in logistics and the growth of the last mile concept. This puts zero emission delivery front and centre as the demand for ‘stuff’ sits alongside the urgency to decarbonise its supply chain.
We know this. We also know that the humble bicycle is at the centre of this revolutionary change in the servicing of our homes, workplace and public services. But do the people right in the middle of this change really understand the role of the bicycle?
Because the cycling industry speaks to the cycling industry it knows the issues. It is an open secret, but not supported by critical evidence backed data, that more cargo bikes are being used across our cities. Bicycle Association data points to a 50% rise in sales. Specialist electric bike retailer Fully Charged backs that up, with massive growth in electric cargo bike sales now representing half of its business, with 25% going to families and 25% to commercial usage.
That is key. Commercial usage of cargo bikes, and bikes is on the rise. The Bicycle Association is working with its cycling logistics experts to consolidate evidence – but just observing London streets you can see bikes connecting the dots between suppliers and customers. Pedal Me and Zedify are both busier than before – Pedal Me has expanded its fleet of Urban Arrows to over a 100 now from half that 18-months ago.
The catch is that the managers and security teams of buildings hamper the delivery of goods and services not knowing how to cope with a cargo bike. It is not defined for them. It does not figure in their operating and maintenance manuals that all commercial buildings come with (think of an instruction manual for a TV that is never opened). If you ever visited a glass façade fronted shiny office with a Brompton neatly folded (other brands are available) and been turned away then you can guess what riders of a Raleigh, Tern or Urban Arrow experience daily.
There are even reports that City of London police regard the proliferation of cargo bikes as a security risk.
The potential for cargo bikes is enormous. Huge. We know that. We ride them. You sell them. You demonstrate (dear reader) that they can carry anything from beer kegs, fridges and office supplies to undertake office relocations and be used for maintenance of lifts, HVAC systems and all manner of repairs.
It is vital that all parts of the facilities management and commercial real estate sector are educated about cargo bikes. What they are; where they can go; what they can carry; who can use them; how to use them safely. Then they will see what we argue: that cargo bikes can play a fundamental role in decarbonising and improving the movement of goods, services and operations for the FM and CRE community.
We would say that. So, we urge the FM teams and their colleagues in real estate to sign up for the National Cargo Bike summit on 31 March at Guildhall and save the date for a free online seminar prelude to the potential of cargo bikes on 24 January at 10am.
Meanwhile, why not watch this video showing how FM Conway has been using cargo bikes:
Contact Andrew Brown on 07795 547069
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