As part of TRI’s involvement in the Surflogh project funded by the EU Interreg North Sea Region, and particularly Surflogh’s ‘Research in Action’ iniitative, on Thursday 25th April Dr Cowie visited the Zedify depot in Glasgow, located on the south side of the River Clyde. Zedify Glasgow are the operators of the Surflogh Edinburgh pilot and as such Dr Cowie was keen to see a fully functional cycle logistics last mile hub in action. Whilst there, Jonathan spent over three hours in discussions with Mr Charlie Mulholland, Managing Director of Zedify Glasgow/Edinburgh, considering the practicalities of cycle urban logistics in different urban contexts, as well as wider issues such as Zedify’s proactive employment practices, key factors in building up a client base and some of the basic economics of urban logistics. Jonathan was also shown the Zedify IT systems app and various cycle related equipment and given a demonstration by Charlie as to how NOT to ride a tricycle cargo bike, i.e. on two wheels!
Whilst photo 2 shows a mainly empty logistics hub, this just reflects the realities of providing sustainable logistics in a major city. Operations were simply ticking over at the time, with various picks-ups and deliveries occurring in the city centre, west end and south sides of Glasgow. Next week however, this hub will be full to brimming over, as the monthly peaks are hit with major clients TNT and Door2Door.
As regards Edinburgh, current operations are already being constrained by the size of premises, and Charlie is actively looking to move into a larger property in the very near future. Jonathan and Charlie also discussed future plans for the Edinburgh pilot, particularly Charlie’s innovative ideas with regard to the first mile and the potential to open up more locally based supply chains.
Dr Cowie found the whole visit incredibly useful and many thanks are due to Charlie for all of his generously given time and insights into urban cycle logistics, and most particularly, for not looking too concerned as Jonathan road a tricycle cargo bike around in circles in the close proximity of several (high value!) parked cars in the car park!