How Mathem brings groceries to your door in Stockholm in 30 minutes

Grocery delivery with Vok cargo bike
Vok e-cargo bikes
September 9, 2022 in  Case-study, Grocery delivery, Mathem, Sweden

A case study

  • Who: Mathem Express e-Grocery provider 
  • Their couriers use Voks for express grocery delivery in the city centre
  • Where: Central Stockholm, Sweden
  • Current vehicles: long-tail electric cargo bikes and Vok electric delivery bikes 
  • Voking since: March 2022 

Key takeaways: 

  • Using zero-emission Voks supports Mathem’s sustainability goals, also their focus on providing sustainable working conditions. Eco-friendly delivery vehicles have been a positive surprise to their customers as well. 
  • Vok is optimal for last-mile delivery and using couriers and cargo bikes was a conscious decision. It’s the fastest option compared to cars or delivery robots.
  • Also, Vok’s built-in compartment is just the right size to carry several orders at once which you can’t do with bikes and backpacks. 
  • Mathem Express couriers mostly prefer Vok over the other cargo bike, because Vok is faster, handles uneven grounds better and has good weather protection. 

Using e-cargo bikes supports Mathem’s sustainability goals

Mathem is Sweden’s leading e-Groceries platform, covering 55% of Sweden’s households. At the beginning of 2022, Mathem introduced Mathem Express, a new grocery delivery service that brings groceries to your doorstep within 30 minutes. Currently, they service households in Södermalm, Reimersholme and Långholmen in central Stockholm but they plan to expand to other parts of Stockholm and beyond. 

Mathem Express offers thousands of items from Mathem’s standard range at the same prices as in regular Mathem stores. The selection includes anything from fresh fruit and vegetables, bakery products and prepared meals, to pharmacy products. They currently have free shipping on all express orders and the service has been immensely well-received by the public. 

Simon Fellin, the Senior Product Manager of Mathem Express says that their goal is to make their customers’ lives easier so they have time for the things that are really important in life. Valuing the important things in life is also reflected in their choice of the delivery fleet, the conditions of their couriers and long-term plans. 

Mathem wants to have fossil-free transport already this year and achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2030. All couriers are Mathem employees with a collective agreement and guaranteed good conditions. Their fleet only consists of zero-emission electric delivery bikes – currently, they own 6 long-tail ecargo bikes and 6 Vok bikes but the number is constantly growing. The best possible vehicles also support Mathem’s focus on providing sustainable working conditions – and social sustainability in general. 

Vok Bikes, grocery delivery, Mathem Stockholm
Vok e-cargo bikes deliver Mathem groceries in Stockholm

Vok has an optimal size for last-mile delivery 

Simon says that he’s an avid fan of light electric vehicles and uses a cargo bike himself for anything from shopping to picking up his two kids from preschool. Vok was on his radar since its launch: “Using couriers and cargo bikes was a conscious decision. We can’t service people under 30 minutes with cars or delivery robots in Södermalm. A bike is the fastest option and is also completely emissions-free. Our biggest delivery distance is about 2 kilometres and a cargo bike is an optimal option for last-mile delivery.” 

“Yet, to get any type of efficiency and profitability, you need to carry several orders at once. With larger vehicles we can deliver much more efficiently than with bikes and backpacks,” he continues.

“Our couriers make 1-5 deliveries in one round and go out for 30-60 minutes at a time. Vok’s built-in compartment is just the right size and very convenient to use.” 

Simon Fellin, the Senior Product Manager of Mathem Express

Handling winter and rough conditions 

Mathem Express bikes are all in rotation and rarely out at once, so there’s no problem with charging the batteries or other maintenance. Even when something happens to one bike, the courier can just take the next one. But Simon notes that couriers mostly prefer Vok: “It can be a bit faster to use the bike for some routes but otherwise Vok is the preferred vehicle. Especially in Gamla stan with its cobblestone roads, Vok’s dual wishbone suspension is irreplaceable on uneven grounds and bad conditions.” 

Simon has driven Vok himself several times and says it’s good fun: “The ride is smooth, the battery lasts for a full day and you have a good overview of your surroundings. There are some minor inconveniences but Vok’s latest model has greatly improved since the beginning.” 

He also points out that weather protection is a must in Sweden: “We want our couriers to feel good and make deliveries with a smile on their faces. We know that Voks are up to the wintertime – we got them in March when it was still very snowy and cold and they handled it really well. Vok is covered and has a floor so the rider is more protected from the wind and other elements.” 

Voks have been a great experience for Mathem and their customers 

Setting up Mathem fleet had a somewhat rocky start, but Simon says that Vok’s team was really supportive and responsive in every possible way. Using Voks has also enforced Mathem Express’s positive image among their customers and in the streets in general. “The customers have been pleasantly surprised by the vehicles. They’re happy to know that their delivery isn’t a burden on the environment,” explains Simon. 

Simon believes that we’ll be seeing an explosive rise in cargo bike popularity in upcoming years:

“It’s an optimal vehicle for medium-sized deliveries in dense urban areas – it’s just not yet a very well known or available option. For a breakthrough, we need more supply and a decent price point, but Vok already offers that.”

Simon Fellin, the Senior Product Manager of Mathem Express

“When we get a critical number of cargo bikes on the streets, the crowds will follow.” To anyone still hesitant about cargo bikes he says: “Just do it! Try it out and get feedback from the couriers. It’s worth investing in good tools!” 

Learn more about the Vok electric cargo bike.