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21 Dec 2020, 12:55
Sören Amelang

Public transport should be used to deliver parcels - German transport minister

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Public transport should be used for urban parcel deliveries to reduce traffic jams caused by the boom in online retailing, German transport minister Andreas Scheuer has said. "Innovative and creative traffic concepts are needed," Scheuer told the Süddeutsche Zeitung, adding that the forwarding of goods with public transport was one such idea. "For example, you could transport parcels with the tram from a logistics hub into a city centre, where the recipient could pick them up in a micro hub, or they are delivered with cargo bikes."

Delivery services are open to the idea because they know city infrastructure has already reached its limits, according to the article. Frank Appel, CEO of logistics group Deutsche Post, told the paper he saw evidence suggesting the idea was not a mere flash in the pan. In the German city of Karlsruhe, the local public transport company already plans to use a tram prototype to transport people and goods from 2022. Market analyses have shown that half of consumers are prepared to pay a surcharge of up to one or two euros for an environmentally friendly delivery. "Public transport can do much more than carry people. This is why we will continue to push this topic," Scheuer said, adding that delivery traffic offered enormous potential for innovations. "We just have to be prepared to think completely out of the box sometimes," he said.

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