UPS launches new cargo eBikes for delivering in downtown Seattle

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SEATTLE -- UPS believes they have the solution for urban package delivery and Seattle is going to be their next guinea pig.

New cargo eBikes will operate in the historic Pike Place Market and downtown Seattle area on sidewalks and in designated bike lanes.

The cargo eBikes are designed to make deliveries to areas conventional delivery trucks can’t access directly. The hope is that the cargo eBikes will reduce congestion in downtown areas by reducing truck dwell time, instances of double parking and other unintended consequences associated with downtown deliveries.

“While we have launched cycle logistic projects in other cities, this is the first one designed to meet a variety of urban challenges,” said Scott Phillippi, UPS’s senior director of maintenance and engineering, international operations.

“The modular boxes and trailer allow us to expand our delivery capabilities and meet the unique needs of our Seattle customers. It’s exciting to return to our roots – UPS started in Seattle in 1907 as a bicycle messenger company. We’re looking forward to being able to offer these customizable urban delivery solutions to other cities nationwide.”

UPS partnered with the Seattle Department of Transportation to develop plans for the new pilot program. If successful, UPS will expand the route and consider additional cargo eBike deliveries in other areas of the city.

“Seattle has always been the city that invents the future, and now we are partnering with one of our hometown companies to help drive innovations in transportation,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan.

UPS and the University of Washington Urban Freight Lab will evaluate the cargo eBike’s reliability, design and integration into Seattle’s infrastructure over the next year.

This is the first tailored urban delivery solution to address growing traffic congestion in Seattle’s downtown corridor, and is part of UPS’s Cycle Logistics Solutions that help reduce carbon emissions, noise, and traffic.

The success of the UPS eBike was first demonstrated in 2012 in Hamburg, Germany.

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