As part of its initiative to promote commercial cargobikes, the German Environment Ministry is now offering grants to set up last-mile micro consolidation depots.
Micro depot guideline
Micro depots are used for the temporary storage and transfer of consignments to cargo bikes, with which the delivery “on the last mile” is carried out emission-free. The “last mile” is understood to be the transport of consignments from the last transhipment point to the end customer. Private companies as well as companies with municipal participation can benefit from the funding. The cooperative use of micro-depots is expressly encouraged.
The application procedure has two stages. In the first stage, meaningful project outlines are to be submitted in the period from 1 March to 31 May in each of the years 2021 to 2023. Eligible projects will be selected in a selection procedure based on defined criteria and those submitting outlines will be invited to submit a formal application. Funding is available for a wide range of infrastructure measures for the construction, utilisation and securing of micro-depositories, such as the purchase of containers, the structural refurbishment of existing infrastructure or the purchase of special safety technology as well as measures to comply with occupational health and safety and building regulations.
The Project Management Organisation Jülich (PTJ) will accept outlines for the guideline from 1 March 2021. The guideline is valid until 30 June 2024. Applications are submitted using an electronic application procedure. The possible funding amount is up to 40 percent of the eligible expenditure.
As an aside, Hermes is considering nano-depots, to support micro-depots. Essentially, places on route where riders can swap empty containers with full ones:
In addition to microdepots, several smaller nanodepots along the route would be ideal, where the drivers would simply have to exchange the empty containers for loaded and ready-picked ones. Such nanodepots could be lockable containers in backyards,” Schmidt specifies.