As part of a clear sustainability strategy, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with London Courier and CEVA Logistics to launch a pilot riverboat delivery service to replace the current high volumes of deliveries through London’s congested road network.
The pilot riverboat delivery service was auspiciously launched on Clean Air Day on Thursday 17 June and is just one of the Trust’s initiatives in a clear, 10-year path towards more sustainable healthcare. Since 2019, the Trust has been working with CEVA Logistics and this has included the opening of a consolidation supply chain hub in Dartford close to the M25, which has already reduced the number of daily truck deliveries to the hospital sites by 90%.
Where logistics operations in London are concerned the route to zero net emissions and low carbon is complex and more a marathon than a sprint. A holistic and joined-up approach is required across the entire supply chain from supplier to consumer, involving all the intermediary partners.
Riverboat pilot service
The objective of the three-month, pilot riverboat delivery service is to run into London twice a day, five days a week, to test the viability of such an approach for the key final stages of delivery. Parcels, from CEVA’s supply chain hub, are loaded onto the boat at Dartford International Ferry Terminal on the River Thames in Kent.
From there they are carried upstream to Butler’s Wharf Pier, Southwark, in the shadow of London’s iconic Tower Bridge. The parcels, which include important clinical supplies for operating theatres, are then transported on the last leg to Guy’s Hospital courtesy of Absolutely Courier, the final mile delivery partner, and our popular, zero-emissions, electric cargo bikes.
Currently, Guy’s and St Thomas‘ fleet of three delivery trucks travel 1,500 miles each week collectively. By replacing one truck with this riverboat service, it is claimed, 708 kg of CO2e could be mitigated each week.
According to David Lawson, Chief Procurement Officer at Guy’s and St Thomas’, ‘The riverboat pilot forms a key part in our ambition to remove over 40,000 truck deliveries from central London roads each year.’
One small step
This riverboat service pilot is one small step along the road towards achieving the Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital trust aim of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and supports London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s goal of cutting the number of lorries and vans entering central London in the morning peak by 10 percent by 2026.
As a final mile delivery partner Absolutely Courier is working with a wide range of companies and brands on initiatives such as the above to integrate zero-emissions, sustainable, London final mile delivery into supply chains. Commenting on this at the recent launch, Stuart Godman, CEO of Absolutely Courier, said: ‘Significant partnerships, like this, provide the opportunity for us to utilise our expanding fleet of electric cargo bikes and EV’s and to continue to provide an excellent service, more sustainably, across London.’