Jean-Baptiste Goetgheluck and Pierre Stevens are industrial designers. His young company, Bilmo, manufactures trailers for cargo bicycles. Based in Recy-K in Anderlecht, they won the Greenlab 2022 award, the sustainable startup acceleration program by hub.brussels, the Brussels agency for supporting businesses. “It’s an industry that is changing a lot. New trailers and new engines are constantly appearing,” admits Jean-Baptiste Goetgheluck. “But it’s also a solution… from the past: in the past, freighters and delivery tricycles crossed cities.”
+ READ ALSO | Towable: bike trailers borrowed in Brussels to transport your groceries, bulky items or moving house (video)
The bike rack is also a solution… from the past: in the past, freighters and scooters crossed cities.
From 60 to 200 kilos, then more
Bilmo’s offer is based on 3 models. The idea is to standardize “adaptive” trailers. “Initially, we made custom-made load assemblies for logistics professionals,” explains the duo. “We’ve found that one or two entry-level trailers and a range of accessories cover the needs of many industries. And this standardization allows us to be competitive.” The Bilmo range is thus made up of an S model (from 800 euros) that carries 60 kilos, “like the devil”, and an M model (from 2,500 euros) for 200 kilos “that is, a “. “Our L-velocargo is under development.” The ambition is to give it a range of 100 km and the belly of a van. The bar is 300 kilos. “We equipped him with our own tractor bike.”
Bilmo hopes to release its standard catalog “in early 2023”. But the first customers are already delivered “in test”. Thus, the cleaning service of the municipality of Jette was equipped with an S trailer enriched with a metal rack to accommodate brooms, shovels and garbage cans. This small masterpiece saves the road service from transporting its equipment in a van by multiplying the stops, and gives more autonomy to its staff. “For Vivaqua, we’ve developed a real toolbox on wheels for hydrant maintenance.” One of the Bilmo trailers is used “heavily” in Soignes for the ecological maintenance of the forest.
The look of the trailers, “of course”, should be attractive to these designers. “But we’re above all about ease of use,” notes Pierre Stevens. “The ease of assembly and disassembly in the workshop, the ergonomics, the balance of production costs”. Bilmo trailers are pallet compatible, which is critical for logistics professionals. “And she always walks through the doors.” In terms of durability, Bilmo is developing with its neighbors Daurema “a solderless battery that can be repaired”.
According to these experts, the logistics industry is now gearing up for a boom cycle seen among individuals over the past ten years. “I was in Strasbourg this summer. Just having a coffee on the terrace, I saw 4 different companies in the saddle on a cargo bike”, recalls Jean-Baptiste Goetgheluck. Pierre Stevens engages: “Change is starting in Brussels. We see it in the infrastructure, the very recent Pentagon traffic plan.” From then on, “classical logisticians came to regard the cargo bike in the same way as boats, trucks and vans. They realized that the van mainly transported itself, while the bike carried much more than its weight”, reports Goetgheluck. “But we are still not at the level of the Netherlands, where many players specialize in delivering parcels in urban areas. In Brussels, Urbike demonstrates to many companies that it is possible to deliver large volumes: the bicycle is super efficient for many stops”.
We are still not at the level of the Netherlands, where many players specialize in delivering parcels in urban areas.
Stevens: “Motorisation remains a constraint. Towing 200 kilos is always difficult. The customer doesn’t always meet their needs. However, last mile delivery is very competitive.” To convince the reluctant, Bilmo’s mighty freighter will have an advantage: with its back, “Brussels is an excellent playground. Even if it’s not Lausanne yet.”