Riverine navigation’s great potential for urban logistics. The river Seine is increasingly coming into its own as an inner-city transport route in Paris, the venue for 2024’s 33rd modern Olympic Games. Lumber was recently shipped in for a real estate project there.
In Paris’ 13th arrondissment, at the eastern fringes of the city, an up-and-coming district with modern architecture – with the not particularly original name of ‘Paris Rive Gauche’ – is being built on the left bank of the river Seine.
A 17-storey low-energy building there, called ‘Wood’Up’, is something of a calling card for the French timber construction industry. The logistics of the building are a part of its sustainable concept.
REI Habitat, a developer that specialises in timber construction, relied on inland shipping barges to supply the construction site of the high-rise building. To bring large prefabricated wooden elements safely into the heart of the metropolis of millions without interference it called on Haropa Port, the French inland waterway administration and Sogestran Logistics supported the Poulingue construction company to set up two innovative solutions.
The basis were ‘Fleximalle’ containers, as light as they are robust, to transport large quantities of goods, and the self-unloading pontoon boat Zulu, adapted to urban logistics. At the river port of Tolbiac the goods were transhipped to an LNG-powered truck for the last mile.
Between July 2022 and March 2023 no less than 14 deliveries were made on waterways stretching between Rouen and Paris. Olivier Ferrand, the director of freight flows and industrial sectors at Haropa Port, pointed out that “our firm supports the maritime and riverine transport of bio-based materials. They’re in increasing demand from municipalities and authorities.”