Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Cleaner Way To Ship Your Freight

Use Water, You Dirty Boys !
Shipping News Feature

UK – All too often we mean well when it comes to doing our bit for the environment. On a personal level the whole thing is comparatively simple, recycle, don’t leave the taps running etc., but in truth most of those involved in shipping cargo around the country still trust it almost exclusively to road transport, and with good reason.

Freight usually requires carriage by truck at either or both ends of its journey, and the temptation is to employ the same method for the whole trip. Obviously rail gets a look in on the longer runs for bulk cargoes but the UK simply isn’t big enough to warrant many commodities travelling this way.

Not many people realise that since 2003 there has been a UK-based, not for profit organisation, launched specifically to encourage and facilitate freight movements by water. Britain of course has a long history of using its canals and rivers to encourage and develop trade but with the advent of the railways and the haulage system it is now an underused resource.

Freight by Water promotes the movement of UK domestic freight and near continental traffic using short sea, coastal and inland waterborne transport and is recognised by the Government as the UK’s official short sea promotion organisation. What might encourage more interest would be if potential users were aware of the whole panoply of grants and incentives which are available to them to encourage more water based carriage, and for which Freight by Water can give advice and assistance.

These financial incentives include Freight Facilities and Waterborne Freight Grants, Mode Shift Revenue Support Grant, the Marco Polo scheme and Trans European Network (TEN-T) etc.

The organisation points out that with 7,500 miles of coastline and over 300 miles of commercially navigable inland waterways still remaining this is a resource sorely under utilised. Potential users might be well advised to contact the organisation and to research the possibilities of an intermodal shift for the sake of the environment and, potentially, their own pockets.

For more details of the various seminars and events available visit the organisations website.