DHL experiments with Containerization

As we predicted last year, Cycle Freight Logistics can benefit from standardised package sizes, to optimise modal transfer.

ALMERE - De nieuwe Containerbike van DHL. FOTO: DIEDERIK VAN DER LAAN

ALMERE – De nieuwe Containerbike van DHL. FOTO: DIEDERIK VAN DER LAAN

Francisco Luciano reports that DHL in the Netherlands, uses special containers to expedite the transshipment from lorry to bike.

Here is how it works:

  • A specially designed 80x120x100 [EuroPallet sizes] container is loaded with parcels in a DHL Express terminal in Amersfoort, 25 km away from Almere, then loaded with forklift into a regular DHL Express van, together with other parcels.
  • At a consolidation facility in the centre of Almere, the driver single-handedly rolls the container from the van onto a flatbed quad using a special ramp.
  • The cargo-bike driver distributes the parcels in the city centre. The Armadillo’s outer width of 86cm allows it to use cycle paths


  • efficient integration of cycle logistics into DHL delivery chain
  • more parcels per hour
  • less errors due to closed box
  • better ergonomy : no more sore back from deliveries

K4RGO - DHL velove_container

Here are the characteristics of the Armadillo:

  • Designed by Velove (Sweden) with Flevobike (NL)
  • Can carry a payload of up to 150 kg but remains nimble, with a tight turning circle.
  • A combination of Rohloff speedhub and a 250W pedal-assist electrical mid-drive offers the bike the power and torque it needs to mule heavy loads up steep hillsides.
  • Narrower than many freight trikes, it allows drivers to overtake other cyclists on paths and easily find parking spots
  • A double-wishbone suspension permits riders to drive over unequal areas at full throttle without stressing the frame nor damaging the payload within

You can read a review on VeloStrom




2 thoughts on “DHL experiments with Containerization

  1. Pingback: Cycling in Nantes and #VeloCity2015 Conference | Cycling in Christchurch

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