Why DHL should use cargo bicycles in Dublin city centre

DHL use cargo bicycle in a number of cities across the Netherlands. Here’s two DHL staff showing the bikes off at a cargo bicycle expo:

Cargo bike website k4rgo translates an article about DHL using the bicycles, quoting DHL’S Arne Melse:

“On a compact urban route of about five kilometres, a cargobike is unbeatable.

“Of course, when we invest on a cargobike, we gain from lower capital and maintenance costs; but the real gain is in the efficiency of the delivery run; 25% faster.”

In the original article, Melse also talks about how the bicycles are good for DHL’s image — and not just when it comes to the environment:

“On a cargo bike nobody is annoyed.If you are alongside the canal behind a stationary courier van, that is annoying. A cargo bike is never in the way.”

It would really work great for DHL if there were contra-flow cycle lanes between their city centre depot — on Sandwith Street Upper — and Grafton Street area. Or if the Docklands was designed to be cycling friendly.

Meanwhile, in Dublin: A DHL van illegally blocking a contra-flow cycle track, causing just the kind of annoyance DHL in the Netherlands trys to avoid:





  1. DHL use walkers in the IFSC. Businesses are a bit slow on the uptake of new ideas here. Not very forward thinking, car is king.

  2. I started a cargo courier company in Dublin in 2008, Velocity Couriers. Two years of trying to get companies to switch for the right reasons later we went out of business. The bikes and clean ends we had were bought by Cyclone Couriers, who are clickacourier. They bikes are still not used correctly in the city, mainly as an advertising gimmick. It’s a shame they aren’t more widespread or taken more seriously as a viable alternative to motorised transport in the city centre.

  3. We, at Cyclone, have recently added a further 2 brand new Cargo Bikes to our fleet. This now brings us up to 5 cargo bikes in total. This is largely due to demand and to coincide with the major Luas works which are due to commence shortly in Dublin City Centre. As we all know the ability to move freely around the city centre seems to grow more problematic year on year. The proposed Luas works will no doubt further compound this problem. Whilst introducing new products or services is never without its challenges we have found that our customers have responded overwhelmingly in favour of the Cargo Bike concept and what they represent. Accessibility, speed, carrying capacity, carbon footprint, cost – there are any number of reasons why cargo bikes simply make sense in a city as congested as Dublin. The bikes represent a significant investment for us (they’re not cheap), but it’s an investment we feel is worthwhile.
    I’m not sure I entirely agree with Graham’s comment regarding the bikes being used as an advertising gimmick. The lockable aluminium boxes provide an obvious billboard and any business would be foolish not to take advantage of this. This isn’t a gimmick, its marketing.
    Finally 5 bikes equals 5 jobs. It’s not much but we feel we’re doing our bit.

  4. I have to say it makes perfect sense. Not only is it more practical, cost effective in the long run, good for the environment but also better for the couriers’ backs. I have seen other couriers use deep heat and some have to take days off work from over straining their backs with heavy loads in a shoulder bag. These cargo bikes actually add to a safety culture in any courier organisation. Less back/shoulder injury equals less absenteeism. Fair play to Wheels & Cyclone for investing in this product and looking after their staff too. Good employer/employee morale goes a long way for a successful business.

  5. It’s a fantastic commodity to a business even if some perceive it as an advertising gimmick! If it were a van being used the logo of the company would be on it and if it was just a cycle courier on a basic bike the courier would be wearing the company logo on their person so what’s the difference about advertising or more so identifying a company by a logo on a bike or uniform? It saves the courier time having to unload during their route and have to go back to the base, it saves the docs getting soaked through the bag if they are only in cardboard envelopes on a rainy day. The cargo bike is much more sturdier which is much safer in high winds. I’ve had less joint pain since using this and enjoy the easy access of the cargo box, not having to drag a heavy bag in and out of offices. i don’t miss the bag and much prefer this mode. Other companies are just slow to catch on, well I’m happy to be on one so good luck to those who aren’t. You’s don’t know what you’re missing out on or should I say I know what I don’t miss.
    Cheers! Ben.


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