Skip to main content

French grocer turns to barges for delivery


Ancient is new again in Paris, France: cargo transportation by barge along the River Seine is in the midst of a revival thanks to a French grocery chain.

Reuters reports that the supermarket chain Franprix is running a pilot project that sees the loading and moving of more than 20 containers by day. At night, they are unloaded to restock Franprix's 80-odd stores across the capital.

Herve Montjotin, managing director of the Norbert Dentressangle Transport Company in charge of operations, told Reuters the benefits of using the barge are huge. "It's an operation that enables us to reduce the number of vehicles coming daily into Paris, so it's environmentally friendly as it reduces the CO2 emission."

By using water for transport, the grocer avoids Paris' notorious traffic jams and also keeps 15 heavy lorries off the city's roads each day, saving 234 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

However, there are logistical problems with using the river, such as rising water levels. "Road transportation is always our back-up so we're flexible. And it offers security as goods arrive daily at hundreds of Franprix stores in Paris," said Montjotin.

But the city's authorities are hopeful that the promise of lower fuel costs, fewer traffic jams and less pollution will make this ancient transport popular once again.

See the video below:

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds