Cargo Bikes Are More Efficient than Trucks

Cargo bikes are so much more practical compared to trucks burning fuel, increased emissions, wasted time, and taking up space on streets. Delivery trucks are driving empty up to 50% of the time.

Sainsbury’s – back in the saddle after 60 years

“Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, has begun a cargo bike pilot scheme. A fleet of five Sainsbury’s-branded e-cargo bikes based at a store in Streatham, South London, will deliver online orders of groceries to customers within a three mile (5km) radius.”


Sainsbury’s trial there new electric delivery bike in Streatham, London. The Hercules e-cargo bikes have a box behind the rider for chilled and frozen groceries. Photo credit:

“The aim is to establish whether or not deliveries by cargo bike are more efficient than traditional delivery vans in dense urban areas. Around 100 orders are being delivered daily during the trial; customers can choose a one hour delivery time slot. Routing software will determine which orders are sent by cargo bike and which will go by delivery van.”

Sainsbury’s delivery boy Harry, who worked at the Enfield store in North London. This picture was taken somewhere in the period between 1913 and 1915. Photo credit: Sainsbury”s Archive

“Our data shows that a single e-cargobike can deliver as many groceries in an eight hour shift as a van. There are many factors influencing this happy finding, not least the terrible trouble van drivers have with parking in London. It’s really difficult to park and when they do, they generally can’t park close to customers’ houses, so they end up doing a lot of walking backwards and forwards carrying boxes. Over a shift our cargo bikes are covering 12.3mph* on average, versus 3.4mph* for the van”.  

*12.3mph = 19.8km/h and 3.4mph = 5.5km/h

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