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Bicycle logistics in Brazil

A study by Aliança Bike and Labmob at UFRJ produced a diagnosis of the activity of bicycle logistics in Brazil, with a focus on bike courier services – i.e., companies that transport packages by bicycle

The Brazilian Association of the Sector of Bicycles (Aliança Bike) and the Laboratory for Sustainable Mobility at UFRJ have published the technical report “[Bicycle logistics in Brazil]”, with the support of iCS and in collaboration with IEMA. The objective was to prepare a diagnosis of the activity in the country, emphasizing the bike courier service.

Basically, information and data were collected from the actors involved, such as companies, cycle couriers and the public sector (regulations). Between October and December 2019 there was also an online survey and the development of case studies from in-depth interviews.

Through exploratory mapping, it was possible to identify 39 Brazilian bike courier companies that were active in 2019. The distances traveled by the couriers were concentrated in the range of up to 10 kilometers, with the products being transported weighing between 500 grams and 1 kg. On average, there were 22 deliveries per day. Read the complete study here.


The first case study describes and analyzes the management and operation of the company Carbono Zero Courier, based in São Paulo, and also investigates the profile of its cyclists and their perceptions about their work. The analyzes were performed using primary and secondary data provided collaboratively by the company. The second case study addresses the customers' perspective through interviews with companies that hire the bike courier service. In addition to allowing a more global understanding of the service, the analyzes also identified potentials and challenges in cycling.

Bike courier service customers

With the intention of including in the analysis of the bike courier market the opinion and perceptions of the customers who hire this service, four companies in the city of São Paulo participated in in-depth semi-structured interviews. The interviews followed a pre-established script on the following topics:

■ Contextualization of logistics within the company; ■ Representativeness of the bicycle within its logistics; ■ Motivations and perceived advantages; ■ Difficulties faced; ■ Suggested improvements

SOME CHALLENGES (taken directly from the study)

The central challenge, indicated by both companies and customers of the bike courier service, was the lack of recognition by various actors, public and private, of the bicycle as an adequate transport alternative for urban logistics. I) lack of investments by the government in road infrastructure (such as bike lanes, bike lanes, paracycles and bicycle racks) to support activity and travel by bicycle in general; II) competition with the motorcycle is still a difficulty encountered for bicycle deliveries, according to the statement of some interviewees, mainly for greater distances; III) weather conditions were mentioned as one of the limitations for bicycle deliveries: both cyclists and customers mentioned that torrential rains often hamper and delay deliveries. And much more! Check out the full study.


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