In response to the corona crisis and because of the national and international developments and needs within the world of cargo logistics, a plan has been drawn up to set up an international knowledge and research centre for cycle logistics. The centre will be based at the Industriepark Kleefse Waard (IPKW) in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
Cargo bikes contribute to a better quality of life in our cities; they are green, quiet and clean, use less space, emit no CO2, nitrogen and particulate matter, and they’re also social; eye contact is easier from a cargo bike than from a car or van. In this way cargo bikes contribute to a variety of challenges that we as a society currently face: climate change, air quality, accessible inner cities, zero-emission urban logistics and inclusiveness.
In 2012 the first “BakfietsTreffen” took place in Nijmegen. In 2014 the name was changed to International Cargo Bike Festival (ICBF) because of the addition of an international conference in cooperation with the European Cycle Logistics Federation (ECLF), which was formally established that year during the ICBF. Today, the ICBF annually attracts cargo bike manufacturers, designers and experts from all over the world. It has achieved industry-leading status and is the event for the professional cargo bike community to meet, inform and inspire each other. Until 2017, the ICBF took place every year in Nijmegen. In 2018 in Berlin and in 2019 in Groningen with participants from 40 countries. As a result, the use of cargo bikes in city distribution has grown worldwide. The 2020 edition was to have taken place in Nijmegen again, but was cancelled due to COVID-19.
A permanent location for the cargo bike industry
There is a need to sustain the ‘movement’, ‘connection’ and ‘energy’ created at the ICBF throughout the year. In addition, there is a great need for alternatives, especially during a global pandemic when physical events are not possible. We are looking at setting up a permanent exhibition on the one hand and virtual exhibitions and meetings on the other hand. A permanent location such as the Cargo Bike Expertise & Innovation Centre (CargoBEIC) can perfectly facilitate these needs.
CargoBEIC will be a permanent exhibition for the cargo bike industry based at the IPKW in Arnhem, NL. The centre will respond to the needs of both cargo bike manufacturers and the logistics industry in general via its three main functions:
- Exhibition space and test track: CargoBEIC will offer manufacturers the opportunity to exhibit, present and try out their products. On the other hand, the set-up of CargoBEIC offers organisations interested in the use of cargo bikes the opportunity to see, feel and try out products in real life. In a socially distanced manner and possibly even by appointment;
- Knowledge centre: CargoBEIC will function (physically and online) as a place and organisation where knowledge and research about (the use of) cargo bikes comes together and is shared. This will involve technical knowledge about vehicles, but also about regulations, urban distribution and logistics processes. This knowledge will be made accessible by organising online and offline events at the centre. Contacts have already been made with the HAN Automotive / Mobility Innovation Centre (MIC), IPO, Urban Environment, Behavioural Change, and research is also being carried out at Radboud University that links up with the CargoBEIC. The IPKW is also home to many companies with which meaningful cooperation can be established. We are also looking for a connection to ConnectR. By collaborating with HAN Engineering & Automotive Academy, CargoBEIC will also function as a test centre. HAN already has experience as a test centre for vehicles which fall ‘between bicycle and car’, Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) and cargo bikes;
- Virtual exhibition: Online access to a virtual exhibition will offer organisations the opportunity to present themselves to a worldwide.
CargoBEIC is being developed by Jos Sluijsmans (Director of Fietsdiensten.nl and ICBF) in collaboration with the Dutch social enterprise organisation Lentekracht (Koen Vrielink and Bram Lamberts). The concept of CargoBEIC builds on the one hand on the needs of a growing industry (cargo bike manufacturers) and on the other hand on developments in the logistics sector, which as a result of social developments (increasing online shopping, busier cities, stricter environmental legislation) are increasingly looking for innovative solutions. The ultimate goal of CargoBEIC is to bring these needs together and as such grow the industry as a whole.
In order to realise the Cargo Bike Expertise & Innovation Centre, we are looking for partners who want to help us shape this initiative and an investor who can contribute €100,000.
Interested in the CargoBEIC concept, and think you can play a role in its further development? Please contact: