Weekender Ride

B-Line inks deal to deliver products to New Seasons stores

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Franklin Jones of B-Line on one of his delivery trikes.
(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.

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14 Comments
  • Adam H. April 22, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Awesome!

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  • Bill Stites April 22, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    B-Line and New Seasons – a match made in heaven.

    Great to see!

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  • Todd Boulanger April 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    Yes a good match…who would have known such could happen in the future when Natures NW was bought out.

    The only improvement I can think of is if these freight bikes had a great mix tape sound system enlivening the bike lane as they make deliveries…better than turkey in the straw…plus was they passed there was the scent of beer brewing or other sweet urban aromas.

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    • rainbike April 23, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Trading air pollution for noise pollution? Please, no blaring sound system.

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      • CaptainKarma April 23, 2015 at 1:15 pm

        Totally agree with sound systems on bikes being um, antithetical to the zeitgeist. But for these guys, being basically trucks, maybe a nice ice cream truck-like tune, not loud, and def not the ice cream song, would serve to alert traffic and PEDs. Maybe some Scott Joplin ragtime…..

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson April 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    One winter I delivered packages for UPS by bike around Arbor lodge. Being flat certainly helps! Love seeing companies embrace this service. Whenever I see a B-Line bike go by I feel like the world is getting a little better.

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  • Big Knobby Ones April 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm
  • Dave Hoch April 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Glad Franklin is kicking ass over there at B-Line. I think their new Marketing Director Dorothy Mitchell must have had a play in this.

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  • Eric April 22, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    I would love to see a follow-up about the details of these trikes (or what tech other cargo bike businesses are running now.) How is insurance (liability, medical, uninsured) with electric bikes and hired drivers (business vs personal?) I’ve been told conflicting things by different insurance agents about whether or not electric bikes are an exception to the already-murky issues around bike coverage under auto insurance policies.

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  • DNF April 22, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    “…the ultra-dense Killingsworth, Alberta and Mississippi neighborhoods”

    LOL.

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  • Andy K April 23, 2015 at 7:37 am

    MAXIMUM speed is 9mph with 600lb load. Wow.

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    • Bill Stites April 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      It’s classic tortoise and hare … average traffic speeds in Manhattan have been between 7 and 9 mph for years. Portland may be a little quicker, but slow and steady wins the race.
      Imagine they could hit 12 mph?! Which they probably can when not fully loaded.

      This is a real testament to matching the vehicle to the payload – indeed, the load is heavier than the vehicle – and so the energy consumption and speed are more sensitive to variations in weight. Nonetheless, by using vehicles of appropriate scale, energy efficiency is intrinsically quite high.

      There is an essence of truthfulness here as compared to the excessive energy available from oil, leading to just pressing on the gas pedal a little harder when one encounters heavy loads and hills in an over-sized, fossil-fueled vehicle.

      Disclaimer: our company builds similar trikes.

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  • Big Knobby Ones April 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    B-line, can you deliver my new 600 lb. refrigerator/freezer to my mansion on Skyline Blvd?

    Hope the drivers are careful with their knees so they don’t have problems. Electric assist or even gasoline motor assist could come in handy for hills.

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  • Franklin Jones April 25, 2015 at 11:52 am

    We are excited to be partnering with New Season’s on this project and love hearing about the work Rolling Oasis is doing! Thank you PDX for the support… more news on the horizon!

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