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Urban Logistics Solutions

Urban Logistics Solutions

Rewriting the Urban Delivery Playbook, One City at a Time

Urban Logistics Solutions

Rewriting the Urban Delivery Playbook, One City at a Time

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities. The share of urban dwellers is expected to increase over the coming decades. This growth is only adding to the already common challenges of emissions pollution and congestion, caused not only by an increasing number of residents but also by surging e-commerce and new business models like ridesharing.

UPS is helping address these issues through electric vehicles and a range of delivery solutions powered by bicycles and tricycles—all of which operate with zero emissions. Pedal-powered vehicles are more maneuverable than package cars and can often travel places that other vehicles can’t, like bike lanes, sidewalks, and narrow city streets. They are ideal for making multiple deliveries in dense urban areas.

What began with one eBike in Hamburg, Germany, has expanded to more than 30 pilot projects in cities around the world. See some of our latest sustainable urban logistics solutions below.

UPS's City Collaborations

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Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market is one of the city’s most popular attractions—and the city blocks surrounding it are notoriously congested. A pilot of UPS’s pedal-assist cargo e-bikes combined with customized, modular trailers, will reduce truck idle time, double parking, and other issues associated with downtown deliveries.



Delivery challenges are not the same at all times and in all places. Through a data-sharing pilot with City Tech Collaborative in Chicago, UPS is helping the city understand the relationship between urban package deliveries and congestion, with the goal of finding ways to make deliveries during less congested times.



As part of the Low Impact City Logistics project organized by Innovate UK, we piloted a last-mile solution in London that involves taking packages in load boxes in a vehicle pulled trailer to a central hub located within a busy urban area. The load boxes are then delivered to homes and businesses on an electrically assisted trailer that can be guided by a bicycle or walked on foot. The e-assist trailer features net-neutral technology, allowing handlers to move up to 200 kilograms of packages without strain. We plan to introduce the next generation of this solution in Dublin in 2019.



UPS’s work to replace diesel vehicles with electric-assist and pedal-powered alternatives began in Hamburg in 2012. Today, four centrally located containers, known as Eco Hubs, serve as pickup points for package handlers using e-assist tricycles. The system removes up to 10 delivery vehicles from Hamburg’s city center every weekday.



E-trikes have fully replaced diesel delivery vehicles in central Dublin, which also uses an Eco Hub model to centralize delivery pickups. For the first time in this city, UPS ran a local competition to create artwork for the container. Today, the Eco Hub has transcended function and is now part of the art of the city.



Munich, another early adopter of urban logistics solutions, today uses a combination of standard bicycles and eBikes. The city was one of the first to pilot the e-trike built by Rytle, a German startup partnering with UPS in several European cities. We are now experimenting with a newly designed Rytle eBike that incorporates a removable and preloadable load box.



In partnership with the City of Paris, the arrondissement administration, and Urban Lab, two eBikes took to the streets of Paris’s 2nd arrondissement as part of a six-month pilot in early 2018. Early results were positive, and the city chose to extend the pilot into 2019 to study how the eBikes would perform during peak season and under different weather conditions.

Peter Harris

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Additional Collaborative Partnership Stories:

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Advancing Sustainability with Innovative Partners

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