Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Once Again the River Thames Offers a Chance for Water Borne Freight Service

New Cleaner and Greener Multimodal Parcel Delivery Option Available
Shipping News Feature

UK – With a nod to the past, when the River Thames was packed with barges carrying all manner of goods through the heart of the City of London, a cooperation between DHL Express and Thames Clipper Logistics is seeing freight carried on the waterway once more, albeit in much smaller quantities.

Barge traffic is of course also on the increase but now it seems the crowded roads and increased pollution in the city have conspired to promote a faster water borne option in what is claimed as the first riverboat parcel delivery service, which aims to ease congestion and provide a reliable and efficient way of transporting deliveries across the capital. John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express explains:

“This year we will invest about €1 billion in our infrastructure for growing our global network and therefore further improve the quality of our customer business. Besides the renewal of our aircraft fleet and the expansion of our hubs and gateways we are constantly looking for innovative solutions that help us turning our vision of ‘connecting people, improving lives’ into reality.

”This also includes new transport modes we’re bringing forward to reduce road traffic,carbon output and improve air quality. The riverboat is a fast, efficient and reliable way of utilising a currently untapped access route into London and it is one of a couple of initiatives we are investing in, on our way to zero emission in 2050.”

The riverboat service, operated by Thames Clippers Logistics, will run daily commencing at 7:30am, transporting packages into London. The shipments will be loaded from electric vehicles onto the riverboat at Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier before travelling at high speed along the Thames into central London, docking at Bankside Pier for final mile delivery on DHL courier bicycles. Ian Wilson, Chief Executive UK&I, DHL Express said:

“With traffic and poor air quality becoming an increasing problem in urban areas like London, we're committed to finding a better blend of transport. This new and unique service, combining electric vehicles, riverboat and last-mile bikes creates fast and efficient access across the capital."

DHL has proven the effectiveness of combining land and waterways through its established canal delivery network in Amsterdam and Venice, but the service in London represents its first high speed service and is the latest addition to GoGreen, DHL’s group-wide environmental protection programme. GoGreen is the cornerstone of DHL’s sustainability work and focuses on reducing and avoiding emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants. Sean Collins, CEO, Thames Clippers Logistics concluded:

“We’re thrilled to be facilitating this service alongside DHL. The river is a widely under-used natural source of transportation and as we have demonstrated over the last 21 years with our passenger services, the river has opportunity to innovate and evolve, this new high-speed parcel delivery service is a great example of this. As a business we strive to maximise the uses of the river as a mode of transport and will continue to reduce congestion on London’s roads.”