Collect&Go to home-deliver groceries by electric cargo bike in Ghent

Collect&Go to home-deliver groceries by electric cargo bike in Ghent

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New on the streets of Ghent: an electric cargo bike with a capacity of 1,000 litres – or 12 blue Collect&Go crates. From today, this new mode of transport is available to Ghent Drivers, a network of private individuals who deliver Collect&Go grocery orders to customers’ homes. The cargo bike contributes to sustainable mobility in the city and hopefully will encourage even more residents of Ghent to become a delivery driver.

Collect&Go, Colruyt Group’s online grocery shopping service, began offering home delivery in Ghent in June 2020. It relies on a network of private delivery drivers, aptly named ‘Drivers’, who deliver groceries to customers in their neighbourhood for a small fee. The number of home deliveries per Driver is limited to four. This model is primarily intended to encourage neighbours to help each other with their groceries, thereby promoting social cohesion. Collect&Go is now making an electric cargo bike available to Ghent Drivers free of charge. “With this initiative, we are explicitly opting for sustainable transport in the city, which we hope will attract more Drivers.” A win-win situation according to Tom De Prater from Collect&Go. ​

Currently, there are 250 Drivers registered in Ghent. Tom De Prater explains, “In Ghent, our Drivers are the driving force behind home delivery. We think it’s fantastic that neighbours are helping each other out with groceries and wanted to lend them a helping hand. We noticed that potential delivery drivers were quitting because of traffic jams and detours, which increased the amount of time spent driving. A pilot test with an electric cargo bike proved to be the key to success. “We attracted more Drivers, were able to retain them and, consequently, could home-deliver groceries to more customers. A nice bonus considering the growing demand for home delivery,” Tom De Prater adds.

The Collect&Go electric cargo bike is being officially set in motion today by Sofie Bracke, Alderman for Economy and Trade for the city of Ghent, who welcomes the sustainable and entrepreneurial nature of the initiative: “As governing body of this city, we are thrilled to welcome initiatives such as this one. Isn’t it amazing? Neighbours helping each other, bringing each other groceries. Thanks to this sharing cargo bike, it’s done in an environmentally friendly way. Splendid!"

Modern rickshaw

The electric cargo bike is parked at the Collect&Go collection point in Ghent, next to the Colruyt on Drongensesteenweg. It can be used free of charge by local Drivers. The bike, which resembles a modern rickshaw, has a capacity of 1,000 litres and can easily transport 12 Collect&Go crates. “This is a must considering the fact that quite a few of our customers are young families that order their weekly groceries from us. Together with the Driver’s own order, this requires a lot of space,” says Tom De Prater. With a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour and a width of less than 90 centimetres, the cargo bike is easy to manoeuvre and drive in city traffic. The cargo bike is also fully covered, making it 100% ‘typical Belgian rainy weather’-proof. Bike Republic, Colruyt Group’s bicycle specialist, is the logistics partner in this initiative, providing the cargo bike and assuming responsibility for its maintenance.

Promoting sustainable urban delivery

Collect&Go is working hard to inspire the people of Ghent to embrace the electric rickshaw and is already looking into ways to introduce the cargo bike in other cities. With this initiative, the online grocery shopping service is reinforcing its commitment to green mobility. “We make every effort to use transport solutions that are 100% electric and fully emission-free. Colruyt Group already takes the lead in zero-emissions transport and for Collect&Go, we also want the last mile, i.e. the last few kilometres to the customer, to be travelled as sustainably as possible”, Tom De Prater concludes.