Shift Delivery

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Shift Delivery

Vancouver, CanadaVancouver, Canada
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Shift offers a sustainable solution for goods deliveries downtown using cargo tricycles. As a worker co-op, Shift provides meaningful and empowering employment.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our operations are focused in and around downtown Vancouver. This area has the high density necessary to make our trike-deliveries viable and it also suffers from the worst results of congestion and pollution in our city. Our communities of interest include the business community (especially those interested in lowering their delivery carbon footprint), bicycle commuters and citizens interested in their environment and cleaner forms of transportation, and youthful people seeking meaningful and empowering employment (which is scarce in the current economy). We also engage people across Canada looking to implement this model in other cities.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Shift is Canada's FIRST cargo trike delivery service! Our Vision is to “build community resilience by transforming the urban goods movement industry, and by shifting the way business is done.” We are replacing trucks downtown with low-impact, clean, cycle-based alternatives; and we are organized as a worker cooperative, providing meaningful and empowering work for young/diverse people. We offer concrete solutions to environmental problems by reducing air pollution, carbon emissions, and traffic congestion from goods transport. We are helping the business community lower their carbon footprint, while providing an efficient and accessible service (we provide discounts to co-ops and non-profits). We also advocate for active transportation and co-ops: we promote active transportation and improved cycling infrastructure, we support other co-ops and share our story, and we use the advertising space on our trikes for social/environmental campaigns. We are democratically owned & operated.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Shift partners with local businesses to replace their truck/van deliveries with our heavy-duty cargo trikes. The trikes are pedal-powered with an electric assist motor; with the help of a strong rider, they can carry up to 500lbs & 55 cubic ft of goods. Cycle-based technology is more appropriate than trucks for many small, last-mile goods deliveries, especially in the downtown core. We currently transport a diverse range of products, including office supplies, produce, drycleaning, and recycling. We focus on regular contracted deliveries. Shift is structured as a worker co-operative: the workers have democratic control over the business and profits. We are all invested in the business and we all share important decisions and responsibility for our bottom lines and the services we offer. Striving to empower diverse people in the workforce, we use the co-op model to create sustainable and meaningful within the green economy. We aim to pay living wages, and we provide additional medical and skills building benefits to co-op members. We strive to create a supportive, equitable, autonomous, engaging, flexible, healthy, and balanced work environment. Finally, Shift is extensively engaged in our community. We advocate for cycling infrastructure and social enterprise, promote active transportation, share our story at community events, and support local environmental and social campaigns and partners. We strive to live Shift's Values of Innovation, Integrity and Community, through our environmental impact, social impact, and community engagement.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Our competition is conventional truck or van deliveries. In the downtown core, we have an advantage over these vehicles, as we can zip through traffic in the bike lanes and park with ease almost anywhere. Also, while conventional deliveries are exposed to fuel price volatility, we have lower maintenance and no fuel costs. Our trikes are unique and eye-catching; we have a strong brand presence, as well as environmental, social, and efficiency advantages over other delivery methods in dense urban areas. We are open to collaborating with other vehicle types to expand our impact; we promote the right-sizing of vehicles. Bike couriers are not our competition because they deliver documents and small parcels on demand, whereas Shift transports bulk volume goods on a regular, contacted basis.

Founding Story

Shift was founded by students and recent graduates with a shared vision to make a tangible difference, create empowering green jobs, and promote cycle-based technology. Deeply concerned about climate change, and each passionate about cycling and social justice, we brought all these together with the idea of using trikes to replace trucks. We were also inspired by cycle-delivery initiatives across Europe and Asia. The idea was very exciting for us: to ACTUALLY decrease CO2 emissions, demonstrate that bikes are viable multi-purpose vehicles, set an example for the changes we want to see, and create green jobs for ourselves and others! Vancouver seemed like a great place to make it happen, so we started planning. To honour the teamwork that was integral to our project, and to integrate our passion for social (as well as environmental) justice, we chose the worker co-operative model for our enterprise. We were interested in the autonomy, creativity, and empowerment the model would offer.
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