DHL Express has launched London’s first riverboat parcel delivery service.
The service has been introduced to ease congestion and provide a reliable and efficient way of transporting deliveries across the UK capital. It is regarded by the company as an important step towards exploring the use of the river for small scale freight transport.
The riverboat service, operated by Thames Clippers Logistics, will run daily at 7:30am, transporting packages into London. The shipments will be loaded from EVs 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.
Though DHL has previously combined land and waterways through established canal delivery networks in Amsterdam and Venice, the service in London represents its first high-speed service.
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.”
The riverboat service is the latest addition to GoGreen, DHL’s group-wide environmental protection programme, which focuses on reducing and avoiding emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants, targeting a reduction of all logistics-related emissions to zero by the year 2050.
When asked by CiTTi Magazine to confirm the technical specifications of the vessel’s propulsion system, Thames Clippers Logistics issued the following statement: “DHL Express’ daily riverboat service is served by Comet Clipper.
“Whilst the vessel currently has marine diesel engines, DHL Express and Thames Clippers Logistics are investigating other engine arrangements with a view to reducing our carbon footprint. This includes, diesel-electric, bio-fuels and even alternative fuels, with bio-diesel as the first stage.”