Swedish furniture giant Ikea is to begin making deliveries via barge on the Seine river in Paris, as a ‘low carbon’ delivery option. Paris is the first city worldwide to offer Ikea deliveries in this way.
By the end of the year, all deliveries to eligible addresses in the capital will be sent by river ‘cruise’, and delivered on electric trucks for the final kilometres to the exact address.
Emilie Carpels, director of the project, said: “We are the first major distributor to deliver to our clients in this way, and it’s a world first for the group too.”
Bravo @IKEA_France pour cette nouvelle initiative de livraison de marchandises par la Seine pour libérer la circulation routière et réduire l'impact environnemental. #corridorlogistique @haropaport @Paris #fluvial pic.twitter.com/kGDmL8ubzJ— Suède en France (@SuedeenFR) December 14, 2022
The orders will be prepared at the distribution site at the Gennevilliers port, and loaded onto the container barges by crane. They will then travel on the barge to the Bercy port in central Paris. Each delivery will then be sorted onto electric vehicles, to make the final journey stretch by road.
Each of the containers carries up to 13 orders. By January, Ikea is aiming to have 35 containers loaded per day, which represents the fulfilment of up to 455 orders per day.
Pierre Rabadan, mayoral assistant in Paris in charge of the Seine, welcomed the news. He said that it will “allow us to ‘unclog’ the streets of Paris”.
Ikea estimates that the river delivery system between Gennevilliers and Bercy will enable it to save 300,000 kilometres of delivery truck road travel per year.
Ikea is not the first company to make deliveries via the Seine in Paris (although it is the first major brand to do so). In September, a company called Fludis launched an electric riverboat that acts as a ‘floating warehouse’, with delivery parcels loaded onto it and delivered by river.
Read also: Zero-emission electric riverboat in Paris makes 800 deliveries per day
The parcels are then transferred on to electric bikes to make the final few kilometres by road. Fluids’ main client so far is office furniture company Lyreco.
Paris has long looked for ways to reduce the number of delivery trucks on the roads. Amazon in particular has faced restrictions on deliveries due to opposition to truck pollution, and condemnation for the way it allegedly treats its workers.