Meet the Operator – Hugo’s Eco-Delivery

Hugo's Eco-Delivery cargo bike

November 9, 2021

At MP Smarter Travel, we work with a wide range of cargo bike operators, riders and suppliers across London and the south-east, to help businesses make their deliveries more eco-friendly.

With a number of cargo bike projects underway including Team London Bridge’s Bikes for Business and Energy Savings Trust recent grant announcement, we wanted to introduce some of the operators we work with, and this month, we would like you to meet Hugo’s Eco-Delivery.

When did you start your business?

We officially launched in January 2021. It was just me and my tricycle doing store-to-store runs for a bakery in Catford. The owner didn’t have time to deliver their food products from their store in Catford to Sydenham, so I started delivering the lunchtime orders. By using a cargo bike we were able to move stock quickly and easily.

What types of businesses do you work with?

Since then, I’ve started working with a lot of different retailers, particularly food and beverage companies including the bakery’s suppliers. I quickly started doing wholesale deliveries for Neals Yard.

I also work with a start-up in Dulwich doing their bread runs on Saturday mornings. They do around 150-250 orders every Saturday within Dulwich and Forest Hill. It’s perfect, because cargo bikes are built for doing high volume deliveries in concentrated areas. Right now, I do about 37 deliveries in around two hours.

“Being on a bike gives you a lot more freedom and flexibility unlike a van where you’re in a confined space and have to think about parking every time you make a delivery.”

Hugo Harrison

How does Hugo’s Eco-Delivery work?

My business is designed to do high volume orders in small areas, which lowers the cost of delivery. I’ve recently relaunched my website with a new quote calculator, which is based on the distance travelled, not the number of deliveries. The average delivery price with us is around £3, but we charge around £1.20 and we provide discounts for close-by deliveries. Our customers also have the option to book a flexible delivery making deliveries even cheaper.

We do have an electric van for any longer journeys which is great, but we focus as much as possible on local deliveries by bikes. Currently, our riders operate in central, south-east and south-west London. As we grow, we’ll be able to deliver further afield.

Which bikes do you use?

We worked with Cycles Maximus, who have over 20 years of experience building bespoke bikes, cargo bikes and tricycles. They built my bikes using second-hand frames and motors.

Unlike other cargo bike operators, our tricycles are fitted with torque sensor motors which operate based on the amount of power the riders are providing to the pedals. This provides a real workout leading to tremendous health benefits. I provide all the riders with plenty of healthy snacks and protein bars so they have all the energy they need.

What’s the biggest or most unusual item you’ve transported?

That’s a good question! We’ve delivered a lot of things. Personally, I’ve delivered home fridges and furniture such as sofas, but the most unusual were Christmas trees. You can take the roof off and put them in the container or strap them on top.

We’ve even delivered full kegs. Each tricycle can do about four or five kegs at one time, however, for big deliveries we would use more than one rider. We recently worked with Brockley Brewery after their van broke down. A team of our riders met them at their location and completed their delivery early as we didn’t get stuck in traffic.

What advice would you give to businesses who are unsure about using cargo bike courier?

There are so many positives for businesses to use cargo bikes, and it all helps make our environment cleaner and healthier for everyone. I would say, don’t get stuck on what you ‘think’ a cargo bike can do, and get in touch, you’d be surprised at just how versatile these bikes are and what they can carry. Here’s why businesses should use a cargo bike operator:

  • Cargo bikes are quicker than vans or cars because they can cut through traffic, and they’re not affected by parking and road restrictions.
  • When compared against cars or vans, cargo bike deliveries are cheaper, particularly if you need lots of deliveries done all in one area.
  • We don’t have to pay congestion charge – that’s an automatic saving for the customer!
  • Our vehicles are fitted with live tracking so you know where your delivery is in real-time.