Montana Public Radio

Coaster Cycle Pedicabs And The Future Of Last-Mile Delivery

Apr 13, 2021

Ben Morris discovered the utility of three-wheeled cargo trikes, or pedicabs, during a stint in San Diego. After finishing his business degree at Northeastern University in 2005, he secured a small loan, bought five pedicabs, and launched Coaster Cycles. Soon, Ben had expanded beyond Boston to other cities, and he'd begun to incorporate outdoor advertising into his bike fleet.

Since 2012, Coaster Cycles has manufactured its own models of eco-friendly, three-wheeled electric bikes. Companies like Amazon, Fed Ex, UPS and Starbucks use them as coffee carts, warehouse and delivery vehicles, mobile concession stands, and more. Dozens of e-bike models are fabricated at a former lumber and plywood mill site in Bonner, Montana.

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Morris watched his company's momentum screech to a halt. Applying his entrepreneurial acumen, he began producing face shields for health care workers. Soon, CC Face Shields was employing 115 people manufacturing 50,000 shields a day.

Today on Can Do, we look at the evolution of Coaster Cycle’s business model, how COVID-19 has affected demand for e-commerce delivery, and what the future holds for pedal-powered vehicles.