The use of bicycle messengers in the logistics chain, concepts further revised
The paper deals with the use of bicycle messengers, also called bike couriers, in the modern logistics chain. In an era where almost every actor - from policy makers to senior managers - is thinking about the environment and sustainability, new innovative concepts are developed worldwide. On the other hand, an abundance of solutions to improve efficiency and overall sustainability of logistics and other related business activities are already available in the market. Reinventing the wheel all over again might not be necessary. One of the methods to deliver parcels in a more sustainable way, is the transport of freight by bike. People on bike deliver and transport post, parcels or freight with a low volume or weight. Bike couriers are proven to be fast and reliable within congested urban areas. These bikers mainly advertised their ability to go fast from one place to another in a city. Sustainability was a selling argument, but speed was of more importance. Also, in Europe some bike courier markets are reasonably well developed. Specific markets seem to exist for transport of freight by bike. The research question of this paper concerning bicycle messengers is whether these companies can be an economic viable alternative for fossil fuel powered transport, and if so, in what markets these opportunities can be found. The authors draw conclusions about the business model and integrate encountered weaknesses and opportunities. An operational cost calculation is included. A simulation of a round trip delivery scheme in an urban area took place. A van as well as a bike courier solution was compared. To draw some conclusions about the economic feasibility of the round trip by bike courier, the cost per stop is compared and will be discussed. The paper ends with a conclusion on the observations made, and with a number of recommendations. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of the 7th International Conference on City Logistics
Source (journal)
Procedia : social and behavioral sciences
Source (book)
7th International Conference on City Logistics, JUN 07-09, 2011, Mallorca, SPAIN
39(2012), p. 409-423
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Web of Science
Creation 20.09.2013
Last edited 13.12.2017
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