Online ordering continues to grow. Easily ordering a new outfit or a backpack from the comfort of your own sofa, however, contrasts with the number of vans that tear through residential areas every day. Bever takes a different approach. There, they recently started delivering on electric cargo bikes. After all, every shop is a small distribution centre.
We phoned with Dominique, project manager at Beaver Bezorgt to learn about their approach. Dominique enthusiastically talks about the background and experiences of delivering with the Urban Arrow Cargo electric cargo bike. Read more about the project in the interview and get inspired by Bever Bezorgt’s approach.
What is the background of the project?
During COVID-19 time, we had a lot of online orders. There were so many orders that even shop employees were working in the distribution centre (DC). After all, physical shops were partly closed and extra help was needed in the DC. At one point, PostNL could not deliver more than our contract allowed. So we started doing it ourselves.
Because everyone had to work from home, the lease cars were also idle. With these cars, our employees started delivering in-store in major cities. The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Leiden, for instance. In addition, our “outside experts” were keen to see, talk to and advise customers. Fun conversations arose at the door. Customers were very happy to speak directly to Bever employees.
At the same time, we ran into all sorts of issues. Riding a car in the city, turned out to be real hassle for example. We then started testing by bike and it was an instant success. “Bever Bezorgt” stands for clean last-mile delivery. And, of course, providing quality service at the door.
Does your business – just like Bever – also wants to combine quality service with clean last-mile delivery? Then get in touch.
How is the cargo bike used within Bever?
The electric cargo bike is used daily in The Hague. We drive 3-5 days a week. Every day around 10am, a bus with parcels arrives from our distribution centre in Pijnacker. There is a special label on parcels delivered by the cargo bike. Not all parcels fit into the first shift so we do several shifts a day.
Why did you choose Urban Arrow cargo bikes?
We tested the Cargo L and XL. They are just really nice bikes. Super agile and feel very robust on the road. The box can also hold enough packages without comprising on rider comfort. The price of the Urban Arrow Cargo L was also very attractive for us.
What value does the cargo bike have within your fleet?
Now we only operate in The Hague. It’s a small big city. The aim is to expand in Utrecht and Rotterdam. Sustainability is very highly regarded within Bever. In 2022, Bever was voted Sustainable Retailer of the Year. Recycling, reuse and maintenance are deeply embedded in the Bever culture. This is how we combine the convenience of online ordering, the pleasure of shopping at Bever and, of course, sustainable delivery on electric carrier bicycles.
What are your experiences so far?
The pilot has been running since May. Our shop staff are very happy. In The Hague, it is a team of 5 to 10 people who get on their bikes. Practice shows that Anne-Jan in particular – outside expert at Bever in The Hague – gets on his bike the most. And Anne-Jan is lyrical.
Our customers are also absolutely thrilled. They are pleasantly surprised when a Beaver delivery bike shows up on their doorstep. We are also learning that people especially want to receive the package. The challenge we face is to integrate the “Outside Expert” experience into the delivery process. There is also another opportunity to make routing planning as seamless as possible with planning the deployment of in-store employees. We are in talks with another department about this. This, of course, in addition to the fact that the cycling route should be as optimal as possible.
What does the future of Bever Bezorgt look like?
Hard to say exactly how it will go. In the short term, we will expand to Utrecht and The Hague. Then we will further review the concept of “store sourcing”. After all, every shop is a kind of city hub. Ideally, we want to deliver in the big 10 cities ourselves.
Are you considering a business cargo bike?
Are you also thinking about purchasing buying a business cargo bike and still have questions? Then get in touch and we will help you on your way.