Bicycle boom - implications for logistics

Whether with an electric motor, stabilizers, or beach tires, since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the bicycle industry has been experiencing overwhelming demand. KION’s brands are helping to keep the cycling world moving: From the right outfit, to bicycle parts through to a finished bicycle, Dematic, STILL, and Linde Material Handling are used in logistics centers around the world to store, transport, and pick these in-demand goods. To mark World Bicycle Day, let’s have a look at a few examples.

The bicycle is undoubtedly one of the beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for bicycles and bike accessories has exploded due to the lockdowns and the resulting nature boom. For example, the German Cycling Industry Association (Deutsche Zweirad-Industrie-Verband) is reporting the highest bicycle sales in years for 2020: Compared to the previous year, the number of bicycles and e-bikes sold rose from 4.3 million to more than five million. The USA has also seen a rise in the number of bicycles on the road. In March 2020, journeys on bike trails reached its peak, which was equal to three times that for the same period in 2019 according to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a non-profit organization that promotes the conversion of disused rail routes into walking and cycling routes in the USA. And, of course, the increased enthusiasm for cycling was also reflected in sport and fitness apps like Strava, with users taking on the Everesting cycling challenge, for example. This is where cyclists ride up and down a hill of their choice until they have climbed the height of Mount Everest (29,029 ft/8848 m)—in July 2020, there was a 428 percent increase in this trend compared to the previous year.

World Bicycle Day on June 3

Since 2018 the World Bicycle Day has been an official UN day. The United Nations invite all member states and relevant interest groups to celebrate World Bicycle Day and thereby promote cycling. The idea is for UN member states to pay special attention to the bicycle in integrated development strategies and to include the bicycle in international, regional, national, and subnational development policies and programs.

STILL Keeps German Bicycle Logistics on the Go

Up to 150,000 bicycles safely stored, thanks in part to KION subsidiary STILL. One in five electric bikes in Germany comes from the Pon Bike Group, which also owns Kalkhoff, one of Germany’s leading bicycle manufacturers. The Pon Bike Group is itself one of the top five players in the global bicycle industry. When it comes to storage and transportation, the high-quality bicycle range does, of course, require the utmost care. Four years ago, Kalkhoff’s old external warehouses were converted into a centralized modern delivery warehouse in Cloppenburg. Together with logistics specialists Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, STILL supplied specially designed navigation-guided MX-X VNA trucks for the high rack warehouse. With 24 aisles and 48 rack rows, the high rack warehouse can store up to 150,000 bicycles. The valuable range of bicycles requires special care when it comes to storage and transportation. Secured by an abseil system, the bikes can be picked on a working platform at heights of over ten meters. STILL plays an active role in ensuring that storage and retrieval is carried out quickly and effectively so that these valuable goods arrive with the company and therefore the customer as quickly as possible.

Dematic Shuttles Assist with Bicycle Logistics Down Under

From transmissions to spinning shoes, through to pedals and even whole mountain bikes, anyone who is a cycling enthusiast will be familiar with the world-renowned brand Shimano. The Japanese company is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of high-quality bicycle equipment and uses solutions from KION brand Dematic in its state-of-the-art warehouse in Sydney, Australia. Everything is automated here, from goods storage to order picking through to the packing line. The system is built around a Dematic Multishuttle System. Covering a total of just 400 square meters, it not only increases storage density and accuracy, but also the speed and thus the total throughput in Shimano’s logistics center.

Shimano experienced the worldwide demand for bicycles and profited from the coronavirus pandemic: In the second half of 2020, the company recorded a higher output than ever before over a six-month period. In 2021, the production capacity is set to increase again to one-and-a-half times that of 2020.

Lightning-Fast Stacking of Speedwear with Linde Material Handling

Anyone buying a new bike usually also wants the right functional wear to go with it. With more than 616 medals at the Olympic games and the World Championships, Bioracer is a market leader in Europe for innovative, tailor-made speedwear for cyclists.

Bioracer uses a Linde Material Handling forklift truck to handle pallets of jerseys in its Belgian warehouse. The quality and durability of Linde’s trucks was a crucial factor in the decision to collaborate. And this is also a necessity in the current bike boom. However, at the start of the pandemic, it did not look as if the Linde trucks would be used that much. The manufacturer experienced a drop in sales as there were no races taking place, and teams, companies, and also individual cyclists held back from ordering new clothing. Then, suddenly, the boom took off! With more and more people starting to cycle, Bioracer experienced a huge increase in customer requests, casing the business to grow by 35-percent in 12 months.

As various examples in Europe and further afield have shown, KION brands are helping to keep bicycle logistics moving: not just on World Bicycle Day, but every day, around the clock in logistics centers around the world. And, with the current cycling boom continuing, Dematic, STILL, and Linde Material Handling’s logistics expertise and years of experience are particularly sought-after.

Logistics awards for KION brands Linde MH and STILL

Award: KION shapes the future of logistics