Why give an operator monopoly over a micro-depot?

While European cycle logistics depots have been set up in collaboration with several operators, the City of London has decided to award an exclusive contract to Amazon to run a new depot. Is that wise?

The Hamburg public transport agency, Hamburger Hochbahn, has just opened a last mile logistics depot. Four companies will be operating from it, REWE, Hermes, UPS and Deutsche Post

REWE, Hermes, UPS and Deutsche Posts’ consignments will arrive in delivery vans and be stored in the newly-built depot before being delivered per cargo bikes. Hamburg is pioneering the use of cargo bikes on the last mile, said Anjes Tjarks, Senator for Transport and Mobility Transition: “Parcels and goods will reach the customer cleanly, safely and quietly from the micro depot aboard cargo bikes. At the same time, congestion and pollution in narrow streets in the city centre will be noticeably reduced. The model project makes an important contribution to the mobility transition in Hamburg.” Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics and Innovation, stressed: “Micro depots and delivering parcels etc., per cargo bike climate-neutrally on the last mile are key aspects of climate-friendly, urban logistics.”

Hermes, for example will use four ONO bikes, and forecasts more than 8000 deliveries per month.

Tests of the micro depot will run initially until late 2021. The depot model will also be open to other partners, for instance, in retail to to achieve the greatest possible effects

In Prague, seven couriers are sharing a new depot opened last month.

In Berlin, the KoMoDo project has seen the five largest parcels companies, DHL, DPD, GLS, Hermes and UPS, share the facility.

It is therefore puzzling why the City of London has decided to go the monopolistic way, especially awarding the contract to a company infamous for its predatory practices.

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