Hochbahn opens micro depot in downtown Hamburg

Rewe, Hermes, UPS and Deutsche Post to test cargo bike deliveries
15 January 2021
Lastenräder Hermes, Deutsche Post und UPS

REWE, Hermes, UPS and Deutsche Post are to test deliveries with cargo bikes instead of vans when the first jointly-used micro depot for goods logistics, managed by Hamburger Hochbahn AG, goes into operation Monday (January 18, 2021) in Hamburg’s Burchardstrasse. The aim is to relieve inner-city traffic and to lower emissions at the same time. The project is part of the Reallabor Hamburg (RealLabHH), an initiative of the German government's "National Platform for the Future of Mobility" (NPM). Initial results are to be presented at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg this October.

Cargo bikes on last mile

REWE, Hermes, UPS and Deutsche Posts’ consignments will arrive in delivery vans and be stored in the newly-built depot before being delivered per cargo bikes. Hamburg is pioneering the use of cargo bikes on the last mile, said Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition: "Parcels and goods will reach the customer cleanly, safely and quietly from the micro depot aboard cargo bikes. At the same time, congestion and pollution in narrow streets in the city centre will be noticeably reduced. The model project makes an important contribution to the mobility transition in Hamburg." Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation, stressed: "Micro depots and delivering parcels etc., per cargo bike climate-neutrally on the last mile are key aspects of climate-friendly, urban logistics.”

Hermes planning around 8,500 shipments per month

Apart from traffic and climate, synergy effects in passenger and goods transport also play a role in the RealLabHH project, said Henrik Falk, CEO of Hamburger Hochbahn, adding: "As a neutral provider of the space for the depot, we not only bring together different service providers, but build partnerships for urban logistics. We want to look at what role our infrastructure could play here." The four partners can deliver in a more sustainable manner and perhaps raise the efficiency of delivery traffic in Hamburg's Old Town, where delivery spaces are sparse and arguments about the use of street space an issue. These can be reduced by using cargo bikes. Hermes will use four to deliver almost 8,500 consignments per month to downtown Hamburg and free of emissions, Hendrik Schneider, Managing Director Services and Finance Hermes Germany GmbH, announced.

Micro depot to be tested until late 2021

Tests of the micro depot will run initially until late 2021. The depot model will also be open to other partners, for instance, in retail to to achieve the greatest possible effects, Hochbahn said. The project is receiving financial backing from the Ministry of Economics and Innovation in Hamburg.

RealLabHH - blueprint for digital mobility in future

The RealLabHH tests the mobility of tomorrow in the here and now of a city. The aim is to develop a blueprint for the digital mobility of the future. The lab's plans foresee eleven sub-projects ranging from a transport budget instead of a company car, creating a provider-independent mobility platform and solutions for particularly vulnerable participants in road traffic. Residents of Hamburg will also be involved. The results of the tests will be presented at the ITS World Congress, which Hamburg is hosting with the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) from October 11-15, 2021.  The RealLabHH project is based on the initiative of NPM and runs until late 2021. The BMVI is putting around EUR 20.5 million towards the project.