Canals through the city

DHL Freight Sweden is now transporting combined urban freight via waterways. This has been made possible by the company’s participation in a pilot project in the district of Lindholmen in Gothenburg The overloading of urban road networks is a worldwide problem. In Sweden, one answer is to take to the water: DHL Freight is involved in a small test run to determine the extent to which waterways in large cities can be used for freight transport.

DHL is transporting the goody right past the mooring of the "heavies" [Photo: DHL]
DHL is transporting the goods right past the mooring of the “heavies” [Photo: DHL]

During the first stage of the project, participants will determine the extent of transport needs in cities with waterways. Afterwards, the Swedes aim to develop a correspondingly seamless transport concept. With this in mind, the project team is testing the overall effect of a multimodal transport system in achieving a better flow of goods and fewer traffic jams. In the trial area, DHL is responsible for distribution via the planned package routes through DHL Parcel. The test set-up is as follows:

  1. At the package terminal, DHL Freight in Gothenburg and the freight forwarder separate a small number of suitable packages from the normal incoming production.
  2. In the terminal building, employees load the selected packages into special containers. These containers also fit onto transport bikes and have a load volume of approx. one cubic metre.
  3. A small truck transports the special containers to the quay next to the DHL terminal.
  4. Here, the containers are transferred onto a barge.
  5. With the help of a smaller vessel, the barge carries its cargo to two locations in the heart of Gothenburg. Packages arriving in Rosenlund are transported onwards by bike. Packages arriving in Lindholmen are transported onwards by employees using small electric vehicles.

“Being involved in a project like this one gives us an opportunity to manage and influence the development of the urban transport of the future. The project needs our expertise and we are doing something active, by growing our business and by building a sustainable society,” says Ulf Hammarberg, Specialist Environmental Affairs, DHL Freight Sweden.

Author: Sonja Terbrüggen

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