During the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers turned towards online shopping to fulfill their various needs. More delivery trucks were needed to deliver packages to the customer’s doors in what is called the “last-mile”. Consequently, congestion and emissions increased. The Prague’s Cyklodepo project was implemented in November of 2020 in response to these problems. The Cyklodepo project implemented a system of e-bike deliveries from central hubs across the city to decrease the amount of delivery trucks congesting the streets as well as green-house gas emissions.
The success of Prague’s Cyklodepo project was featured in Chapter 2 of Politico’s Living Cities project. The article explored how European cities have become more sustainable and people friendly in recent years.
As of July 2022 when the Politico article was published, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib had reported that the e-bikes had carried packages over 40, 714 kilometers since the program’s launch in November of 2020. Roughly 6,500 packages are delivered through the project each month. In 2021, one delivery center successfully distributed 78,767 parcels. Eight of Prague’s largest logistics companies participate in the project but Mayor Hřib is hopeful that participation will continue to grow.
While other cities have taken other approaches to the “last-mile” problem such as parcel lockers at delivery hubs, drone deliveries, and autonomous delivery robots, the Cyklodepo project has proven to be a successful approach that is far more flexible and sustainable than delivery trucks. It is crucial for cities to find sustainable approaches to the “last-mile” problem as it is the most destructive part of the package delivery journey for cities. The World Economic Forum projects that by the end of the decade, “last-mile” deliveries alone will likely be responsible for a 32 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions in cities and a 21 percent increase in congestion.
The statistics on the Cyklodepo project were taken from Politico.
Text by Samantha Skorstad
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