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Added on 22-03-2013




Fondazione Sodalitas



Business challenge

Carbon free tricycles represent an answer to energy consumption, noise, pollution, and traffic jams: they are silent, have no emissions, consume much less energy and take much less space in traffic.
Actually aware of the impact on environment caused by its business operations, TNT Express Italy wants to play an active role in finding practical solutions focused on the radical reduction of CO2 emissions which is one of our main challenges for the next 8 years.


TNT Express Italy has started using tricycles to deliver light parcels in the centre of Vicenza and Padova. The carbon-free service is initially covering these 2 city centres but in the future we could extend it to many other areas and city centres by 2013. TNT already started in 2010 to make tricycle deliveries in French, Swiss towns and in Brussels and Barcelona.
Cargo tricycles have proved reliable, efficient and popular for inner city deliveries. Actually they can help to avoid daily limited traffic zone problems. TNT has developed a business model to insure that they are also economically viable, which is a crucial aspect in this kind of solutions. Initially TNT Express Italy started with only 2 tricycles in Vicenza and 2 tricycles in Padova, while in the whole of Europe there are about 30 carbon free tricycles moving parcels.
Depot managers seem enthusiastic about the great CO2 saving impact and business profits that this project can bring at the same time.
At the moment a list of other potential Italian cities to be implemented is being drafted; the objective is to turn it into an implementation plan in 2013. It is foreseen that by the end of 2013 between 5 to 10 cities (among which Torino, Milano and Roma are most likely) will see the introduction of between 20 and 30 tricycles.
Moreover in 2012 and 2013 TNT will be investigating new innovative ways to support the use of tricycles in city centres (mobile depot/transhipment areas).


The main challenge in Italy is that each city authority organises the city centre viability independently so each city has its own peculiarity and features. As a consequence, each city centre structure has to be analysed thoroughly before a plan is prepared. The other challenges are to prepare a good baseline, build a pilot phase and then be effective in gathering the results from the field to build a successful implementation in terms of feasibility, quality standards and operational costs.

Challenges/Lessons learned:

The results are referring to one city and the area of distribution where the tricycles are working:
- On average 3 traditional vans are replaced by 1.5 vans and 2 tricycles, meaning less traffic congestion (space occupancy of tricycles is much less than of a van)
- Reduction of diesel consumption by ca. 200 liters/year
- Reduction of CO2 emissions by ca. 5 Ton/year
- Overall cost impact: 0€ (we foresee in bigger cities a cost reduction of about 5-10%). And with a continuous increase of fuel prices, there will also be a cost reduction in smaller cities.
- Impact on customers: we have noticed a small increase in service quality (meaning on time deliveries in perfect conditions) after introducing tricycles.
- Productivity : the productivity per hour of a tricycle is same or in some cases even higher than a normal van.

More information

This project aims to involve local and national media pointing out to its intrinsic originality and innovation in energy efficiency and green mobility field. We’ll underline these successful aspects through this
main targets:
• local newspapers
• vertical newsmagazines (transportation sector)
• most popular national weekly magazines
• website, forum e blogs particularly focused on environmental matters
We will also post project news on the TNT’s official fan page of Facebook, on the Corporate website in the
area dedicated to ‘fast news’.
A dedicated event will be organised to present the project to medias and authorities.

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