The NMW editorial team had the pleasure of interviewing Mika Koopmann, the Co-Founder and COO of ImagineCargo. Catch him on Monday, 24. September, at the NMW FORUM as part of the panel on Last Mile Logistics – Reinvented.
Mr Koopman, let’s start at the beginning: How does your service change the mobility of the future?
Through our platform, we provide e-commerce businesses with fast, flexible and sustainable parcel logistics solutions. We take the professional urban cargo bike couriers that have sometimes been on the roads for decades to the doorstep of the European e-commerce warehouses. Online shoppers that buy with our customers can choose among many advanced delivery options such as 2h time slots, evening or instant deliveries – all sustainably delivered by cargo bikes.
In your experience, what do you wish consumers knew about their online shopping and the consequences of modern, accelerated delivery demands?
Most last mile logistics operators still use fossil-fueled delivery vehicles as their main driver. Online shoppers, therefore, have gotten used to diesel vans bringing their orders and accepted it as the universal standard without challenging the status quo. We know that an alternative system is possible as we’re already operating it. All our partner companies delivering parcels day-by-day with the use of cargo bikes (and in very few cases eVans) for deliveries. We want customers to know that they can receive their orders sustainably and at the same time enjoy more advanced and flexible delivery options!
It’s not only on the consumers to know of the different sustainable mobility and logistics solutions available to them. What would be your three demands for a change in mobility services addressed to politics on a national and international level?
1. Intensify working towards a shift in urban transportation: support local sustainable logistics operators, establish step-by-step rules to force fossil fueled delivery vehicles out of the inner cities.
2. Help build an industry that not only includes e-cars but also pedal-assisted vehicles for transportation needs.
3. Have a conversation with startups and initiatives by asking for their opinions and solutions. Don’t always and only work with corporates and consultants.
Switching from logistics to smart cities, how do you envision your hometown 30 years from now?
Everybody talks about drones and autonomous driving. Although I do think we’ll see a lot of that in 30 years, I’m certain cycling will have a dominant role in personal mobility as well as in transportation in general. I think we’ll have mostly car-free inner cities and cycling highways everywhere. The infrastructure will allow us (through our partners) to deliver parcel even more efficiently by bikes.
So what would you currently see as the most surprising mobility concept/trend/product?
I actually was surprised by the sheer amount of bike sharing fleet operators flooding the European market with bikes. A generally good idea was thereby seen as an intrusion by the public. This confirms that scaling isn’t everything.
What means of transport do you personally like best?
Easy: bikes! Racing bikes, cargo bikes, mountain bikes.
You’ve addressed the need for politics to have a conversation with startups and smaller initiatives instead of simply getting their advice from large companies and consultants. What do you think of the interplay between startups and larger corporations?
I think a cooperation between startups and corporations can in many cases be fruitful though challenging. We always try to be open towards joining matching events etc.
And for the last question let’s veer off in a different direction: Can films, comics and books in popular culture sometimes predict correctly parts of what future mobility might look like? Has there been a film/music video/etc. where you thought: “Jup, that looks realistic.“?
I’m usually rather optimistic: Through seeing Science Fiction movies I often find myself questioning the bright predictions of the Star Trek-like future.
ImagineCargo offers an end-to-end shipping solution helping e-commerce businesses improve their customer journey by offering advanced delivery options. Fast, flexible, sustainable and transparent, directly from the warehouse.