Thursday, June 17, 2021

River Boat Trial Introduced as Innovative Delivery Solution for Vital NHS Trust Supply Chain Link

Ultimate Aim is to Eliminate All Pollution from Logistics Operations
Shipping News Feature

UK – The first daily riverboat delivery service on the River Thames for an NHS trust has begun trials this month. If the proof-of-concept pilot is successful, the service will operate on a larger scale, removing trucks from London roads, while providing a reliable delivery route into the capital during the day.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with CEVA Logistics and the Livett’s Group and currently the Trust’s three delivery trucks currently travel around 1,500 miles per week. For each truck removed from the road, approximately around 3 tonnes of CO2 could therefore be saved per month. David Lawson, Chief Procurement Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said:

“The riverboat pilot forms a key part in our ambition to remove over 40,000 truck deliveries from central London roads each year. We also want to encourage and support other organisations to adopt the use of zero emission delivery models to improve air quality for the communities that we serve.”

The project will help Guy’s and St Thomas’ work towards its aim of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and it supports the Mayor of London's aim to reduce the number of lorries and vans entering central London in the morning peak by 10% by 2026. Edward Livett, Director of Livett’s Group, commented:

“We are very excited and proud to be a part of this trial as it is a clear example of positive use of the River Thames, something we are constantly striving for. Livett’s specialise in river logistics and as a Group have assets from Putney down to Gravesend which we are confident will help make this trial an absolute success. We look forward to helping freight back onto the river and proving it to be an environmentally sustainable and safe solution.”

The three-month pilot launched on Clean Air Day on Thursday 17 June. Earlier this month Guy’s and St Thomas’ unveiled its sustainability strategy which sets out a clear path towards more sustainable healthcare for the next 10 years. The pilot is just one of the initiatives that the Trust has introduced to help reduce its carbon footprint and to become more sustainable. Courier group Absolutely has been selected as the last link in the chain, with Stuart Godman, CEO at Absolutely saying:

“We are proud to have been chosen as the final mile delivery partner. As a business, we want to build on our ambition to be a true ambassador for carbon neutrality. Significant partnerships, like this, provide the opportunity to utilise our expanding fleet of electric cargo vehicles and allow us to continue to provide an excellent service in a more sustainable way across London.”

In 2019, the Trust worked with CEVA Logistics to open a consolidation supply chain hub in Dartford close to the M25, which has reduced the number of daily truck deliveries onto the hospital sites by 90%. The Trust is also planning to introduce a fleet of three large electric trucks to deliver consolidated deliveries from the supply chain hub.

This initiative followed the switch to cargo bikes when transporting blood and tumours for testing between Guy's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital, which replaced vans and motorbikes. The last word on the current trial came from James Trimmer, planning & environment director at the Port of London Authority, who observed:

“This innovative scheme is another great example of the river’s potential as a green superhighway. It’s a win-win situation; the tidal Thames can help rebuild the economy post the pandemic and both reduce carbon emissions and air pollution in the capital.”