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Greening the Last Mile of Delivery

Posted by Kyle Malashewski on

Our mission at Bikeables is simple: to make it as easy as possible for you to get your favourite local goods, delivered right to your door.

Freshly roasted coffee? A click away.

Freshly baked bread? A click away.

Freshly brewed beer? Yeah, you get it.

There are many similar services offering organic food delivery in cities across North America. In Toronto, for example, companies like Fresh City Farms and Mama Earth Organics are focused on making healthy eating simple, and encouraging more mindful consumption.

But to get those organic groceries to you, they use delivery vans to cover the "last mile" from their warehouse to your front door.

We Do Things Differently

The new "on-demand economy" that has grown out of the eCommerce revolution has nurtured a desire for home delivery that is fast, reliable, and inexpensive. You can get nearly anything you want online, and have it delivered right to your door.

But we didn't want to be just another delivery company, putting more fossil fuel-burning vehicles on our roads. We decided, instead, to use cargo bikes.

That's because there are so many things that you buy on a daily and a weekly basis that are totally bikeable -- light enough and small enough that it doesn't take much effort by someone on two wheels to get it to your door.

And we're not the only ones who think so!

Bike Delivery In Other Cities

There are many companies across the globe doing similar work to Bikeables. In the UK, TNT Post, with a fleet 1000-strong, delivers 95% of its mail by bike. Their director of logistics recognizes the true value of bikes, not just from a business standpoint, but from a community and environmental standpoint as well:

"Bikes are low maintenance, economical and the environmental benefits are obvious. As the roads become more congested, cycling becomes more favourable. For instance I couldn't get around London as quickly in a van as I can on a push bike. Ultimately our product lends itself well to being cycled."

In Portland, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery uses cargo bikes to deliver local food, working with bakeries, organic produce companies, coffee roasters, and even Office Depot!

B-Line weaves together sustainability and community in a truly inspiring way, demonstrating that you can do amazing things with bicycles.

How We Do It

Bikeables is based in downtown Hamilton, and for all of our customers from Westdale all the way to Parkdale we do everything by bike -- from picking up orders from our local vendors to bringing the goods to your door.

"But how do you get up the mountain?"

That's a question we've heard many times!

We make no secret of the fact that we have a company vehicle: a Dodge Sprinter with a 14-foot box on the back. Since our bikes are pretty heavy even when they're empty, we use this truck to save our riders time and energy in getting up the mountain.

When we do our deliveries in Ancaster and Dundas on Thursdays, we load our cargo bikes and our orders into the truck, and drop them off in a central location. From there they head out to do their run, and bike all the way home to our headquarters downtown.

By using our truck as a "mobile delivery hub" in combination with our nimble, speedy cargo bikes, we are able to increase our service area while keeping our emissions down, and keeping our riders' legs fresh!

Our Green Commitment

Some jobs just can't be done by bike: we admit that. But we will never take the "easy" way out.

Bikeables is committed to keeping our carbon emissions at a minimum. That's why, in the near future, we will be sharing our emissions data as well as our cargo bike delivery data, so you can see for yourself if we're living up to our word!


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