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Micro depots and cargo bikes

KoMoDo - Cooperative use of micro depots by the CEP sector for the sustainable use of cargo bikes in Berlin

KEP-Dienstleister KoMoDo
KEP-Dienstleister KoMoDo © LNC GmbH


The "Cooperative Use of Micro-Depots by the Courier, Express and Parcel Service for the Sustainable Use of Cargo Bikes in Berlin" (KoMoDo) is a unique research project in which the five largest national parcel service providers are actively participating. The focus is on the sustainable and city-friendly delivery of parcels on the last mile by cargo bike as well as the use of a service provider-open system of micro depots in a district. The goals of the project are to find out how well cargo bikes are suited for delivering parcels on the last mile, to test an uniform micro-depot system for different parcel service providers and to reduce traffic congestion caused by delivery traffic.

The five operational service providers in Germany are Deutsche Post DHL, DPD GLS, Hermes and UPS. Associated project partners are the Bundesverband der Kurier-Express-Post-Dienste e.V. (Federal Association of Courier Express Mail Services), the Bundesverband Deutscher Postdienstleister e.V. (Federal Association of German Postal Service Providers), the Bundesverband Paket und Expresslogistik e.V. (Federal Association of Parcel and Express Logistics) and the Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V. (German Institute for Standardisation). The project was coordinated by LNC LogisticNetwork Consultants GmbH.


Based on analysises of urban space, traffic connections and other factors, a tram turning loop in Berlin’s inner city district Prenzlauer Berg was chosen as location for KoMoDo. The densely populated location is a great advantage of the site, especially for bicycle deliveries. Likewise, the traffic and logistical situation at the location is well suited for the establishment of a microdepot.

At the site in Prenzlauer Berg, Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH (BEHALA), which is wholly owned by the city of Berlin, has set up a logistics area consisting of seven sea containers. Each of these containers forms a so-called micro-depot. The system can be used by each project partner and integrated individually into the route planning. The five largest national parcel service providers DHL, DPD, GLS, Hermes and UPS participated in the test phase. Each company uses a micro-depot as a central collection and distribution point. In addition to the service providers, the Berlin Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection (SenUVK) and other industry associations were also part of the project. This was to achieve a high visibility and acceptance of the project. The transfer of the site was linked to the cooperative use of the space.

The project flow of the daily business is as follows:

Starting from the distribution centres of the parcel service providers, the shipments for the tour area around the micro-depot were delivered to the KoMoDo site. This is usually done with delivery vehicles of a permissible total weight of 3.5 t to 7.5 t. These tours are carried out individually by each company. The pre-consolidated consignments are stored on site in the micro depots by the service providers and transferred to the cargo bikes. The consignments of a daily tour of a delivery driver, which can otherwise be delivered in a motor vehicle, have to be reloaded several times a day. Some items that are not suitable for bicycle delivery due to their dimensions or nature have to be delivered conventionally. The heterogeneity of the consignments envisages a mixture of cargo bikes and electric commercial vehicles as the most economical solution for locally emission-free delivery in the future. It is also evident that the individual process flows of the service providers had to be adapted.

The operational use of the site started in June 2018. During the one-year funded project period, data and experiences were collected that will subsequently contribute to making delivery transport in urban areas sustainable.

On five working days, an average of 11 cargo bikes were in use. Thus, after initially low transport volumes, up to 16,000 shipments per month could be delivered. At the same time, 28,000 vehicle kilometres could be substituted by the cargo bikes. The bicycles themselves covered a total distance of 38,000 kilometres. This can be explained by the fact that the cargo bike had to be loaded with new consignments several times a day. The reduced vehicle kilometres led to fewer commercial vehicles delivering parcels in the area. Thus, the traffic load was effectively reduced and the road traffic, in which cyclists also moved, became more fluid and clear.

From an ecological point of view, the saved parcel volumes also have a positive effect. 28,000 km correspond to an average CO2 emission of the equivalent of 11 tonnes. In addition, 150 kg of NOX (nitrogen oxide) particles and 0.83 kg of fine dust (PM10) can be saved.

From an economic point of view, the expenses can be divided into two groups. On the one hand, there are the acquisition costs of the cargo bikes as well as the construction and ancillary construction costs, and on the other hand, the variable running costs. The joint project was funded within the National Climate Initiative (NKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. Thus, parts of the fixed costs were covered. The running costs were borne by the participating service providers themselves. This approach is intended to support the long-term approach and make participation in the project attractive not only because of funding.


Local residents have given positive feedback on the use of the cargo bikes. The acceptance of bicycles as commercial vehicles in delivery traffic can also increase the acceptance of bicycles in road traffic and have a positive effect.

Overall, the KoMoDo project is a great success. The project was continued at the location even after the funded project period. In the future, further research questions are to be answered at another location.

Why is it an innovative example to follow?

Local emission-neutral delivery with cargo bikes has a promising future, as it protects the environment and improves traffic flow. At the same time, it meets customers' demands for urban logistics. The cooperative approach enables efficient use of space.


Governmental funds
400 000 €

Funds of the National Climate Initiative (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety).



Project manager / parties involved

Project management: 

LNC LogisticNetwork Consultants GmbH

Project parties involved: 
  • DHL
  • DPD
  • GLS
  • Hermes
  • UPS
  • Berliner Hafen- und Lagerhausgesellschaft mbH (BEHALA)
  • assoziierte Partner (Bundesverband der Kurier-Express-Post-Dienste e.V., Bundesverband Deutscher Postdienstleister e.V., Bundesverband Paket und Expresslogistik e.V., Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.)

Project term

On-going since: 
January 2018
Completed on: 
June 2019
Further information: 

Project continued after funding phase.

Public relation and documents

Webseite KoMoDo (in German)


Ansprechpartner auf Projektebene: 

Christian Kaden
LNC LogisticNetwork Consultants GmbH
Invalidenstraße 34
10115 Berlin
Telefon: +49 (0)30 585845815

Kommunale Ansprechpartner: 

Dr. Julius Menge
Senatsverwaltung für Umwelt, Verkehr und Klimaschutz
Grundsatzangelegenheiten der Verkehrspolitik, Verkehrsentwicklungsplanung
Am Köllnischen Park 3
10179 Berlin
Telefon: 030 9025-1566
Telefax: 030 9025-1675