Cargo bike delivery for Darmstadt

Project partner: Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (consortium lead)

Duration: May 2020 to December 2020

Project homepage: at Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences

Funded by: Hessian Ministry for Economic Affairs, Energy, Transport and Housing

Contact person:Prof. Dr. Axel Wolfermann (h_da), Prof. Dr. Johanna Bucerius (h_da) and Prof. Dr. Kai-Oliver Schocke (FRA UAS)


In the current situation of the Corona crisis (April 2020), the delivery networks are robust and handle similar volumes as they did before Christmas 2019. The (large!) internet retailers are benefiting more than average from the crisis; in particular, system-uncritical retailers in towns and cities have had to close down to the public and offer - in part - a rudimentary, self-organised delivery service. This is supported in Darmstadt by the bicycle manufacturer Riese & Müller, which offers rental cargo bikes precisely for this target group. Furthermore, the Heinerbike project in Darmstadt offers four cargo bikes for rent free of charge. The start-up Sigo offers cargo bikes for rent at fixed stations.

In the wake of the Corona crisis, many city centre retailers are at a severe disadvantage compared to internet corporations due to the closure of shops to the public. Nevertheless, these retailers are still much more likely to be able to implement a "same day delivery" approach and, above all, in a more sustainable way: The goods are already in the city and only need to be delivered to the customer. Sustainability through the saving of emissions and the promotion of regional delivery structures are the focus of the project.

Project goal

Prototypical development of a bicycle delivery service by integrating local retailers and current cargo bike solutions in Darmstadt as well as empirical accompanying research on the acceptance of such a delivery service by suppliers (retailers), bike couriers and customers.


The project is divided into the following work packages:

1. Setting up the delivery system with the pilot supplier Spargelhof Merlauf.

a. Ordering system, route planning and micro depots

b. Freight bikes and personnel

2. Expansion of the delivery system through a broad base of customers and traders

a. Integration of further retailers

b. Communication and marketing

c. Cooperation with local stakeholders

3. Legal issues

4. Accompanying research

a. Data collection and understanding of actors

b. Cost analysis

c. Life cycle assessment

d. Transferability

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last updated on: 10.17.2022