German start-up Rytle launches new inner-city logistics concept

From the March 2018 issue.

German start-up, Rytle, has set out to disrupt urban logistics by replacing traditional modes of transportation with a new, electric mobility concept based on the trusted cargo bicycle.

Based out of Bremen in northern Germany, Rytle is planning to free up city centres around the world by replacing rigid trucks and vans with electrically driven cargo bicycles that transport specially designed, prepacked transport boxes the size of a standard pallet.

According to Joint Managing Director, Dr Arne Kruse (main image right), Rytle’s concept is a “logical continuation” of the city hub model currently being trialled across Europe, where transport businesses install peripheral ‘hubs’ and then use local courier services to navigate the final leg to the client.

By designing a new type of electrically driven cargo bike – the Movr – as well as a new, standardized transport box and an app-based IT solution to connect all stakeholders, Dr Kruse said Rytle’s goal is to fundamentally reinvent metropolitan logistics and courier services, not simply add a new alternative to the industry’s traditional toolbox.

According to Joint Managing Director, Ingo Lübs (main image left), the Rytle concept must therefore be considered “a holistic solution” to the challenges digitisation, electric mobility and public environmental awareness present to the urban logistics community.

“Rytle is providing cities with a complete solution to the unique challenges of our time, including the fill digitisation of final mile logistics,” he told Global Trailer, indicating that an integrated leasing/ rental model is also on the cards – not just in Germany, but all across Europe. Transport businesses from Asia and even Australia have reportedly also shown interest already. “The result is a safe, efficient, environmentally friendly solution that will reduce traffic, noise and air pollution dramatically.”

According to Lübs, Rytle will also provide a series of small-scale city hubs the size of two standard car parking spaces that act as central pick-up locations for the fleet of Movr bikes, each holding a maximum of nine boxes prepacked and ready to go. “The bikes effectively work like a forklift,” he explained. “They back up to the hub, lift and load the box mechanically or electronically, depending on the model, and lock it securely to the frame. The driver then logs onto a cloud-based, block chain secured app and gets access to information about box content, client and destination.”

The software, he says, is able to connect to all standard logistics management systems and will inform head office about location, load condition and even the live weight of each box to ensure a safe and secure delivery process. Maintenance-free electric wheelhub engines support the driver in building up momentum and to cover long distances at up to 25km/h without effort.

With multiple field tests planned during the second half of 2018, Lübs and Kruse are confident the Rytle system has the potential to revolutionise inner city transport – especially with Germany’s top administrative court recently ruling that cities have the right to ban diesel engines in an effort to take action against air pollution.

“We believe cargo bicycles have long been underestimated,” they told Global Trailer. “By taking on a more holistic approach, they could perfectly complement the logistics solutions of today and finally bring the digital economy to the urban logistics space – all while keeping our city centres quiet and pollution-free.”

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