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New Research: UFL, UPS Study Ebike Delivery

New Research: UFL, UPS Study Ebike Delivery
New Research: UFL, UPS Study Ebike Delivery
October 25, 2018   //   

OCTOBER 25, 2018  A partnership between UPS, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), and our Urban Freight Lab (UFL) has launched a one-year pilot project aimed at reducing congestion and improving delivery efficiency in downtown Seattle: delivery via cargo bikes.

Our research team will help UPS and SDOT evaluate the study’s outcomes to determine its success. We’ll analyze three delivery routes that will be affected by the e-bikes to evaluate how emissions change over the next year, as well as the time cargo vans and trucks spend in loading zones, and how pedestrians and other bicyclists are affected. If this pilot test is successful, UPS plans to expand the e-bike delivery service to other areas of Seattle.

“We are excited to play a role in this innovative approach in an effort to reduce traffic congestion in Seattle,” said Anne Goodchild, director of the Center and a UW professor of civil and environmental engineering. “I’m really proud of our collaboration with SDOT and UPS, because truly innovative solutions will only be found when we work together.”

In this study, delivery drivers will use electric-pedal assist cargo bicycles with detachable modular trailers that can carry up to 400 pounds and be presorted according to neighborhood or route.

UPS has pilot-tested its e-bike delivery systems all over the world, with the first test taking place in Hamburg, Germany, in 2012, and the first U.S. test in Portland, Oregon, in 2016. In those tests, UPS used an electrically assisted tricycle with a wagon over the back two wheels to hold packages. This is the first time UPS will use detachable wagons in the U.S.

UPS partnered with the Seattle Department of Transportation to design a test route: The e-bikes will operate in Pike Place Market and the downtown Seattle area on sidewalks and in designated bike lanes.


About the Urban Freight Lab (UFL): An innovative public-private partnership housed at the Supply Chain Transportation & Logistics Center at the University of Washington, the Urban Freight Lab is a structured workgroup that brings together private industry with City transportation officials to design and test solutions around urban freight management.

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