Cargobike Hire from major supermarkets

This is an excellent opportunity for a national supermarket chain to offer a free service to existing and potential customers.

The proposal:

A fleet of branded cargobikes available for (free) hire to existing and potential customers, hosted at a number of outlets in a dense geographical area.


The context

Cargobike Hire schemes are being established across Europe; see for example the Carvelo2Go project in Switzerland.

Based on records acquired from the two biggest cargo bike retailers, there are currently over 5000 family homes in Greater London with at least one cargo bike. It is therefore assumed that the number of potential users is much greater and that a cargobike hire scheme is bound to be successful. In addition many people have sporadic need to use a cargobike, typically when buying or disposing a bulky item or doing a large food shopping. Research has shown that many people would choose a cargobike rather than other means of transport for distances within 3 km.


Driving customers who shop in peak hours tend avoid congested areas whilst cyclists are likely to choose bigger store as long as it’s within 3km. Nevertheless cyclists simply limit their shopping to what they can carry. Customers who walk will often choose local stores over a more distant Supermarket. Potential cargobike hire participants are in all three groups described above as well as public transport users and therefore would lead to increase in number of customers and volume of their shopping.


The details:


As an example for a pilot, let’s assume a fleet of ten cargobikes hosted by four-five branches in close proximity, all branded in corporate colours. The service is aimed at present customers and any member of local community wishing to hire a cargo bike.  They can also be used by shop staff for deliveries. When not in use, the bikes will be parked at a prominent place, effectively advertising the shop and the hire service. The Welcome desk inside the shop will be responsible for enquiries, bookings and handing out keys. First time hirers will be required to watch a video outlining all the safety issues, provide a photo ID and sign a hire agreement. . A  servicing agreement with a local shop will ensure that the cargobikes are properly maintained.


Cargobike Life is a social enterprise founded to stimulate the use of cargobikes. We will provide the required number of cargobikes, along with arranging long term maintenance solutions. We will also provide advice and assistance all along the process of setting up, marketing, training, and managing the project. In addition a survey into the service would be conducted 2-3 months after the launch etc..


The benefits:

Marketing – The visibility of the branded cargobikes, when in use or when parked is considerable.

Sales – Customers without access to a motor vehicle will be able to make larger shopping trips, if they are able to hire a cargobike. Moreover, those customers coming to your stores to hire a cargobike for other motives, will likely shop once they are there

Reputation – The project will solidly align the Company with important emerging themes, such as Active Travel; Zero Carbon; Zero Pollution; etc.



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