12 July 2007 | Paul Snell
Supermarket Sainsbury's is floating the idea of transporting its deliveries from suppliers by river.
The retailer has just completed a trial in London of shipping food deliveries from the firm's distribution centre in Charlton, along the Thames to its store in Wandsworth.
The firm said the move could cut carbon dioxide emissions by a quarter by 2012, and help the company meet its target of reducing the distance its fleet and suppliers travel by five million kilometres by 2010. Sainsbury's first made deliveries by river in 1869.
Sainsbury's have identified 12 stores in London that could benefit from the service if introduced. The retailer is currently working with the Port of London Authority to see if the idea can be taken forward.
Roger Burnley, supply chain director, said: "It's in our heritage to manage and reduce our environmental impact and using the Thames is an extremely efficient way of doing this. Projects like this can contribute to how we're tackling issues such as the transportation of food head on."
A spokesman for the firm said it was too early to say whether the idea could be trialled on waterways in other towns and cities.