Zedify expands Outspoken’s UK cycling delivery services

PUBLISHED: 06:03 12 August 2018

Zedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge, Rob King. Picture: Keith Heppell

Zedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge, Rob King. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Courier now has sites in seven UK cities

Zedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge. Picture: Keith HeppellZedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

Zedify, the delivery arm of the Outspoken cycling franchise, has launched its zero-emissions transportation service in Edinburgh.

The new Zedify facility is Outspoken’s seventh in the UK, following Cambridge, Glasgow, Norwich, Waltham Forest, central London (Smithfields Market) and Brighton. Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool centres are expected to open soon.

“We’re aiming to be in 30 cities in two or three years,” says Outspoken’s managing director Rob King, who founded the courier firm 13 years ago. “We changed from Outspoken Delivery to Zedify because we wanted to give the delivery brand its own identity.”

Outspoken Delivery became Zedify on June 21 – Clean Air Day.

Bike display in the bicycle shop at The Bike Depot, which is run by Rob Turner, previously of Ben Hayward Cycles. Picture: Keith HeppellBike display in the bicycle shop at The Bike Depot, which is run by Rob Turner, previously of Ben Hayward Cycles. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We still have Outspoken Training and Outspoken Cycles doing events and training, and now we have the shop as well,” says Rob, referring to the retail section of The Bike Depot, Outspoken’s habitat near the Science Park.

The in-house urban cycling store sells a range of cargo bikes, tandems, triplets and electric-assist load luggers. The shop is run by manager Rob Turner, who joined from Ben Hayward Cycles in April.

The courier rebrand has allowed the Zedify team – which is led by Rob and Brighton-based co-founder Sam Keam, who founded Recharge in the seaside city – to enhance its in-town delivery service.

“We’re now bigger nationally,” says Rob, “but it’s not just about bikes, it’s about zero emissions transport.

Zedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge. Picture: Keith HeppellZedify, The Bike Depot, 140 Cowley Rd, Cambridge. Picture: Keith Heppell

“There’s been a sea change in the market because city emissions and congestion are now so significant, so the aim is to make zero emissions scaleable, and for a business to do that we have to be national. We’ve invested in the technology, so the big change for us is the ambition, and we can now offer big retailers the option to do something in terms of deliveries.”

Zedify’s service involves both delivering to individual customers and moving goods in bulk for the crucial last-mile hike – “it’s actually the last four or five miles”, says Rob.An electric van is available for pick-ups outside that area.

The new locations are set up as licensee partnerships: each depot has its own manager, responsible for its local sales and operations but hooked up to a national IT system developed with Theale-based software sopecialist Skotonung.

Rob believes the future is bright for the sector.

“The next big step would be if politicians cracked down by introducing congestion charging. Some people with vans doing five or so deliveries a day would then look at alternatives.

“Change is difficult but it’s just the ‘how’ not ‘whether’ – you’ll never get change if you don’t incentivise the alternatives.”

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