DHL Express using high speed riverboat in London

In an attempt to beat and reduce London’s congestion, DHL Express is to launch the city’s first riverboat parcel delivery service.

This move comes as part of DHL Express’s commitment to use blended transport models to improve access to urban areas, and is also an important step to using the Thames and its tributaries for small scale freight transport.

“This year we will invest about 1 billion EUR in our infrastructure for growing our global network and therefore further improve the quality of our customer business”, says John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express. “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 utilizing 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 Thames Clippers Logistics-run operation will run daily at 07:30am, transporting packages into central London. They will be loaded from electric vehicles onto the riverboat at Wandsworth Riverside Quarter Pier, taken at high speed to Bankside Pier, and the final mile will be handled on DHL courier bicycles.

DHL Express has used riverboat services in Amsterdam and Venice but the London service will be its first high-speed one.

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.”

Sean Collins, CEO, Thames Clippers Logistics said: “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.”