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Microhubs, cargo bikes, and finding the right people.

November 7, 2022
Microhubs, cargo bikes, and finding the right people.

At Ryde, we have been steadily ramping up our micro hub offerings with several exciting clients. We provide them with local, rapid, and flexible delivery options for high-density, urban areas.

Our fleet of leading-class, fully electric cargo bikes is at the heart of this project. These have allowed us to deliver extremely high volumes, often last minute, and with an environmentally friendly focus running through the centre of the operation.

A recent trial with a national partner has provided essential data and excellent results.

Hiring the right people

The trial aimed to operate multiple vehicles out of a single hub, with hundreds of parcels being moved daily by a dedicated group of Ryde delivery riders. The success of this project can be placed firmly at the feet of our riders and hub managers.

To begin, we use a bespoke vetting process. We confirm that riders are interested and motivated for the work through an initial application and digital training package. We then confirm they are capable through in-person training and monitored shadow shifts. Finally, we ensure they remain engaged with highly competitive pay, in-person catch-ups, and a rotation of perks and benefits through our partner Collective Benefits.

Alongside the riders, our hub managers are carefully selected to be good with people, great with details, and excellent communicators. They stay focussed on delivery times and package locations while helping new riders develop their needed skills. All while tracking the capacity of vehicles and facilitating additional pick-ups each day.

We have seen considerable benefits to ensuring the people we work with are the best at what they do: quicker upskilling and training, a desire to take on more responsibility, and security in knowing that if someone takes the initiative, it will turn out positively.

Listening to our riders

Ryde’s central ethos has always been Rider’s First, so it felt natural to build our micro hub operations around this policy. By making our team feel like just that - part of a team - they have become invested in the success of the project and active participants in its rollout.

Listening to the people we hire has proved vital. Micro hub fulfilment is new to Ryde but also new to the industry. We knew that actively engaging with our couriers was the only way to ensure this was as successful as possible, as quickly as possible.

Their insights proved invaluable. From small suggestions about the best ways to keep our hubs organised, to more meaningful data about how we can increase delivery volumes and ensure accurate delivery time estimates.

It is important to note that happier riders have also remained part of the team for longer, which helps reduce churn. This, in turn, creates couriers who know their routes, understand the processes of the hub, and can be relied upon to undertake additional tasks and responsibilities.

Some challenges

An immediate question we faced was how to maintain productivity through incentives without accidentally creating an overly competitive environment for our couriers. We saw far more value in a robust and team-focused mentality than one encouraging independent success over the group. So while rewards for excellent KPIs are offered, we ensure all riders receive generous benefits and perks through Collective Benefits purely for being part of the team. As long as they are working, they are rewarded.

This had a positive impact on the teamwork within our hubs. Riders didn’t see each other's success as a threat, merely indicating things were going well. A rising tide lifts all ships, and at our hubs, this proved to be the case. More experienced couriers can help newer ones, and those who need a sick day don’t fear being excluded or replaced. Finally, downtime in the hubs was spent enjoyably and together, not in isolation.

Our company-wide ethos of being riders first has successfully guided us through this process. Honest communication and genuinely desirable opportunities lead to engaged riders with an ambition to succeed and grow. We can then adapt quickly to client's needs, communicate to our riders areas that require improvement, and, crucially, see measurable results. Finally, rider feedback is received in the knowledge that it is honest, helpful, and only aimed at improving the process as a whole.

Dynamic solutions

Even the most engaged workforce can’t overcome the limitations and challenges of the logistics industry without help. Sheer volume alone can mean the difference between a well-planned day or a highly inefficient delivery period. We found that the more work and deliveries that operate out of our micro hubs, the more room for innovation in this sector is possible. Cargo bikes such as the popular EAVs and flexible Urban Arrows offer massive benefits over more traditional vehicle types in built-up urban environments. So ultimately, we see solutions to these problems rooted firmly in software, logistics, and processes. That’s why so much of our attention is focused on these areas.

The idea that our routing and navigation solutions could help our clients get more delivered in the same timeframes using the same vehicle capacities is an exciting one. Allowing routes to be dynamic, flexible, and changeable gives a more comprehensive selection of delivery options to our riders, hub managers, and, best of all, our clients.

All this guarantees we can be at the forefront of emerging technologies and ensures a sustainable delivery solution for the last mile in the supply chain.

That’s why Ryde, delivers.

Louis, Rider Spotlight
Louis, Rider Spotlight

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