A trial is underway at Helsinki Wholesale Food Market to investigate how groceries for homes and wholesale orders for restaurants could be delivered with cargo bicycles and electric mopeds and if these light delivery vehicles can challenge conventional delivery vans with their dexterity and affordability.
Grocery bags and small wholesale orders of restaurants are in constant demand in the city, but no alternatives have yet emerged to the conventional vans that are at the mercy of traffic jams and parking spaces, the use of which also brings a high extra cost to the deliveries. The City of Helsinki’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki is now performing a test at the City of Helsinki Wholesale Food Market together with the delivery company A2B for the duration of May to see how suitable light and environmentally friendly vehicles are for the delivery of goods in the city.
“The goal is to learn what kind of deliveries can be delivered with light vehicles, how much demand there is for such deliveries and what kind of a city Helsinki is for making deliveries with a cargo bicycle or an electric moped. We are investigating what kind of new, light, environmentally friendly and affordable solutions are available to develop the logistics of the city in a more functional direction and to improve services. By developing smart transport and delivery services, we are making Helsinki into the most functional city in the world,” says Project Manager Assi Rautanen from Forum Virium Helsinki.
Grocery bags, wild herbs and rescued food delivered lightly around the city
The electric moped and cargo bicycle deliveries run around the inner city of Helsinki for the duration of May. The bikes now deliver such things as the wild herbs of Forest Foody to restaurants and online purchases from Ruokakauppa Reilu to customers’ homes. Various rescued food deliveries from school meals to bakery products are also underway or starting. Next, fresh vegetables will also be delivered directly from the farmer to customers in the inner city.
Entrepreneur Tero Kakko of A2B in charge of the deliveries sees many opportunities with the vehicles being trialled.
“The new electric cargo bicycles are fast, affordable and efficient vehicles when moving in the inner city of Helsinki. They can easily carry even a large number of packages. I think this is about bicycle couriers making a comeback to Helsinki,” he says.
The trial is part of the New Solutions in City Logistics project, which seeks new solutions for organising light and environmentally friendly urban distribution in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere while minimising the noise, emissions and congestion problems caused by distribution logistics. At the same time, solutions are sought to facilitate the everyday lives of city residents.
New Solutions in City Logistics is a 6Aika project carried out in cooperation between Forum Virium Helsinki, the City of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Valonia and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The project is coordinated by the City of Turku. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Six City Strategy for 2018–2020. The duration of the project is from 1 August 2018 to 31 December 2020.
Photo: Ruska Tapiovaara / Forum Virium Helsinki