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DHL Express riverboat parcel delivery service launched in London

By Chris Dawson September 30, 2020 - 10:00 am

Once upon a time, the UK’s waterways were the only way to transport goods around the country and none more so than the Thames which servecd London. Now, DHL Express has launched London’s first 21st Century riverboat parcel delivery service, which aims to ease congestion and provide a reliable and efficient way of transporting deliveries across the capital.

The riverboat parcel delivery service has been introduced as part of DHL’s commitment to using blended transport modes to improve access to urban areas and is an important step towards exploring the use of the river for small scale freight transport.

“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.”
– Ian Wilson, Chief Executive UK&I, DHL Express

The riverboat service, operated by Thames Clippers Logistics, will run daily 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.

“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.”
– Sean Collins, CEO, Thames Clippers Logistics

DHL has proven the effectiveness of combining land and waterways through its established canal delivery network in Venice, but the service in London represents its first high speed service.

“This project opens up the movement of small parcels as a new and potentially substantial area of river use. The shipment of bulkier freight by river already takes more than 200,000 HGVs off the capital’s roads every year. A river boat and emission free last mile delivery is a great innovation and the ideal combination for the city’s next evolution.”
– Robin Mortimer, Chief Executive, Port of London Authority

Whatever part of the country, or world, you’re in, if you’re sending documents and parcels into central London, they are likely to now reach their final destination via the new DHL Express riverboat parcel delivery service.

“Without the Thames London would not have become the city it is, so it is great to see it playing its part in the city’s economy in this new and innovative way. The reduction of lorries on the road complements our existing measures to improve road safety, and we are pleased to be part of an initiative that provides the consistent journey times that are so crucial to the successful delivery of parcels.”
– David Panayiotou, Head of London River Services, TfL

  • Peter Abel
    7 months ago

    Brilliant. Air freight into Manston Airport Then on to Ramsgate port for Electric or hydrogen powered boat to London !!!

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