Hochbahn to open second micro depot in late May

Focus on collaboration with startups in sustainable logistics sector
20 May 2021
Micro depot at main bus station

Hochbahn AG is to open a second micro depot at the main bus station in central Hamburg in late May. The new depot  will focus on partnerships with startups in the sustainable logistics sector and already includes the Hamburg-based online farm store Frischepost. The aim is to relieve inner-city traffic and reduce emissions at the same time.

The "Goods Logistics Microdepot" sub-project is part of the Reallabor Hamburg (RealLabHH). Initiated by the German government, ten projects at the lab focus on how digitalisation can make the transport system more sustainable, safer, more convenient and reliable. The results are to be presented at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg in October.

Micro depot targeting startups and smaller companies.

The goods mobility sub-project is already proving a real success, said Henrik Falk, CEO of Hochbahn. "A first branch in the Altstadt in Hamburg is currently Germany's largest and highest-volume, provider-independent stationary micro depot. Trying out a new approach with startups in the new depot is great." Hochbahn's depot gives fledgling companies an opportunity to test the concept and gain both access to a suitable delivery environment and experience setting up a new logistics concepts. Micro depots are increasingly being used in logistics as a central transshipment point. Shipments arrive by truck and cargo bikes are deployed to deliver the goods to customers.

Tricargo and Frischepost on board

Tricargo, which specialises in electric transport bikes, and the Frischepost food delivery startup are among the firms using the micro depot to store and handle their goods. After loading and unloading in the micro depot, the goods are delivered by cargo bike entirely emission-free. "The depot allows us to expand our delivery area and gain new customers and to expand deliveries to existing customers. We can replace direct trips done by vans and help make the city cleaner, quieter and more liveable," said Guido Haagen, Managing Director of Tricargo.

Pop-up space for use by small companies

Apart from space rented to Tricargo and Frischepost, Hochbahn says that part of the space will be made available for pop-up stores to smaller companies in sustainable urban logistics. Jan Ninnemann, a representative of the Cu&ee association founded especially for this purpose, said: "Setting up a pop-up space offers an opportunity to test new delivery concepts on the last mile in a simple and flexible manner." Many smaller companies with regular delivery connections to the city centre have lacked the opportunities and ideas to test sustainable logistics so far. 

Hochbahn opened its first micro depot in downtown Hamburg in January for use by Hermes, UPS, Deutsche Post Paket as well as REWE's delivery services. Around 12,500 consignments per month are handled there. The "Warenlogistik Mikrodepot" project will run until December 31, 2021.