Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 22nd, 2015 at 2:48 pm
(Photo by NashCO Photography, courtesy New Seasons Market)
Earth Day seems like a fitting day to announce the latest evolution in Portland’s cargo bike delivery ecosystem.
Pedal-powered freight delivery company B-Line has partnered with New Seasons Markets on a pilot project dubbed “Green Wheels” to deliver products to their stores.
Here’s more from an announcement by New Seasons:
The pilot program currently serves the Hawthorne and Division stores, with plans to expand to Concordia and Arbor Lodge, and Northwest Portland’s soon-to-launch Slabtown location.
A small selection of vendors is participating in the pilot, with potential for the roster to grow…
As for the near future, B-Line plans to open a North Portland hub to service the ultra-dense Killingsworth, Alberta and Mississippi neighborhoods, and will potentially take root within Ecotrust’s newly acquired warehouse in southeast Portland, The Redd, slated to operate as an urban food hub…
The idea is for B-Line to establish local distribution hubs that will accept products from New Seasons vendors. Then B-Line employees will pedal the freight to the individual stores.
Since the company’s launch in 2009, B-Line founder Franklin Jones has built his company into a viable and successful last-mile cargo delivery operation. His fleet of electrified cargo trikes can carry up to 600 pounds per load and currently deliver to over 200 local businesses, saving tens of thousands of truck trips every year.
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New Seasons says the partnership will save their 150 local vendors — many of whom are small start-ups — from having to drive around in order to deliver their products to the company’s 14 metro area markets. “Streamlining the delivery process could mean hundreds of car trips avoided and less congestion on cramped urban streets,” New Seasons says, “along with freeing up a healthy chunk of precious time.”
This effort reminds us of what Rolling Oasis is doing with their planned expansion into new areas. That company is trying to raise money to establish delivery hubs in underserved neighborhoods. (Learn more about their plans on this fantastic recent episode of The Sprocket Podcast.)
Local delivery of food by cargo bike has so many upsides for our local economy, health, and planet. Congrats to these companies for seeing the future and working to do things differently — and better!
We’re following all the local cargo bike news, stay tuned for more coverage.