October 6, 2023

Blog/ Why cargo bikes are the best option for meal kit deliveries

Bex Young

How do cargo bikes improve meal kit deliveries?

At Zedify, we’re proud to deliver for some amazing (and delicious) meal kit companies.

Our urban teams deliver for both fresh food delivery companies, such as the brilliant curry makers Dabba Drop, and for meal kit companies, such as London-based Grubby.

But why do these businesses choose cargo bike deliveries, and why might you want to consider it for your own food business?

Cargo bike deliveries are fasterĀ  than van deliveries in cities

This one is a pretty self-explanatory perk of deliveries by bike and trike. When it comes to fresh food, it’s key that things are delivered when they should be. This is not just for the freshness of the goods themselves, but also to keep things in that all important estimated delivery slot for hungry customers at the other end of the SMS update, waiting eagerly for their box of goodies.

Cargo bikes are proven to be up to 60% faster than vans in cities, so we can certainly deliver (ha…) on this one.

How can there be such a big difference, you may ask?

Well, it’s all to do with the ‘mesh city model’ that cargo bike delivery companies like us employ. The best part?

Time is money. Reducing inefficiencies means reducing cost wastage, too. Cargo bikes are generally cheaper to run, so they’re a really price-competitive option for businesses watching their bottom line closely (and in an energy and a cost of living crisis, who isn’t?)

The mesh city model

Put simply – the mesh city model cuts out the bottlenecks in a city.

This is how it works.

  1. A lorry travels on a motorway, taking parcels from large hub outside city and dropping them at microhub inside a city.
  2. At this microhub (which is quite literally a small hub, usually on the outskirts of an urban area) parcels are distributed onto cargo bikes and mapped to tailored routes. These routes consider the layout of the city in question in detail, working out the most efficient way to travel based on various factors, including the weight of the vehicle. For example, when most of the parcels have been dropped off, the bike will be faster – so it will be quicker to travel uphill. All of these factors come into force via automations in Zedify’s smart routing systems.
  3. The bikes navigate low emission zones, bike lanes and other obstacles than vans simply can’t access or move around. Cargo bikes are able to park right outside drop-off locations, unlike vans (which typically have to park on one part of the street whilst the delivery driver makes multiple journeys back to the van). Cutting out these back and forth trips is key – and it doesn’t hurt that we avoid parking fines too. The amount of money delivery companies rack up with those is staggering! Whilst all this is happening, absolutely no tailpipe emissions are released.
  4. All dropped off in this round? Great. The cargo bike returns to the city microhub to pick up another round in quick succession. Then, the process repeats.

Our bikes are built to transport delicate items

Our bikes are cleverly designed to transport the most delicate of items. There’s no chucking around of boxes or packing things incorrectly – the spaces inside the bike and trikes we operate are designed to be packaged efficiently and tightly.

There’s often myths perpetuated that cargo bikes can’t carry very much stuff. This is a myth – they can actually carry up to 250kg. So, whilst those recipe kits might be dropped off in two rounds rather than one van-load (might being the key word), it will STILL be done quicker than a van, and all items will be in one piece!

Our couriers care about the doorstep experience

We appreciate our hardworking riders. We pay every rider a Real Living Wage and employ them all, giving them access to benefits many couriers sadly just don’t have.

We instil a mission into everyone we train as a Zedify courier, and that’s to do things better. Better for the planet, better for the city, and better for people. A big part of this is seen in the doorstep delivery. Our deliveries are able to be more personable than most, largely due to the fact that our riders aren’t rushing to get to the next drop in order to get paid – they know they’re valued regardless, and can provide a really great, friendly, and careful service.

Looks matter: cheap and bold advertising on cargo bikes

So now you know why cargo bikes work well for meal kit deliveries from a practical point of view. But there’s another reason in particular that they’re great for them, too.

Food businesses have some fantastic photography content that shouldn’t be hidden away on websites and reserved for social media only. Advertising is expensive, and getting TV slots or big city billboards can seem unachievable for many. Only the biggest supermarkets and online shopping sites can afford those sought-after primetime slots.

Here’s where cargo bikes get really, really good.

Their durable, flat sides make the perfect surfaces for wrapping in a bright, colourful brand. Zedify’s vehicles travel around the UK’s busiest cities on a daily basis, so in effect, our bikes become unique, and highly memorable, mobile billboards. They’re seen by tens of thousands every single day in London, Manchester, Brighton, Edinburgh… the list goes on.

Here’s a couple of our favourite collaborations with our foodie brands.

Interested in finding out more about cargo bike deliveries for your business?

Get in touch with us via partnerships@zedify.co.uk, or head here for more information on what we do and how we do it.