UPS is getting ready for the tough eBike test in Seattle

(Reuters) – United Parcel Service Inc will present an Urban Delivery Test on Thursday in Seattle using e-bikes to carry packages in large, pre-loaded boxes to save time and reduce environmental pollution, the company said.

FILE PHOTO: The United Parcel Service logo is featured on the new parcel sorting and delivery UPS hub in Corbeil-Essonnes and Evry, South Paris, France, June 26, 2018. REUTERS / Charles Platiau / File Photo

UPS's new project, which began as a bicycle messenger in Seattle in 1907, comes with the increase in online shopping deliveries. UPS and its competitors – including FedEx Corp – are also seeking ways to reduce delivery costs and vehicle emissions.

UPS has partnered with Silver Eagle Manufacturing and Truck Trikes to develop the cargo eBike with a battery-powered electric motor for the test, which begins on November 5, UPS said.

The bike carries interchangeable, 95 cubic-foot boxes that weigh packages up to 400 pounds, UPS said, adding that the trailer and interchangeable container configuration of the bike is an American first. The driver will pick up pre-loaded containers from a designated city car park and return them empty.

The use of pre-loaded cargo boxes "erases" the double handling of parcels and helps reduce delivery costs, said Scott Phillippi, UPS senior director of vehicle maintenance and engineering for international operations, Reuters.

UPS, the world's largest parcel delivery company, already has run and bicycle delivery projects in more than 30 cities, including Dublin, Rome, London and Pittsburgh. In addition, the company tests 9,300 low-emission vehicles around the world.

UPS, FedEx and Deutsche Post AG DHL is under pressure from regulators around the world to reduce the environmental impact of their fleets.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Arrangement of Susan Thomas

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