Oct. 19 - French supermarket chain Franprix is cutting it's carbon footprint by using the river Seine to deliver goods to some of its Paris based stores. Hayley Platt reports.
This was once the only way to move freight in and out of Paris. Now cargo transportation by barge along the River Seine is enjoying a revival. French supermarket chain Franprix is testing the waters. During the day it loads and moves more than 20 containers. When night falls they are unloaded to restock Franprix's 80-odd stores across the capital. The Norbert Dentressangle Transport Company is in charge of operations. It's MD says the benefits are huge. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE TRANSPORT COMPANY HERVE MONTJOTIN SAYING: "It's an operation that enables us to reduce the number of vehicles coming daily into Paris, so it's environmentally-friendly as its reduces the CO2 emission." Escaping Paris' notorious traffic jams is of course a big attraction. It will also keep 15 heavy lorries off the city's roads each day. And save 234 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. But the river isn't immune to logistical problems - rising water levels are often a challenge. (SOUNDBITE) (French) MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE TRANSPORT COMPANY HERVE MONTJOTIN SAYING: "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." The scheme is only a pilot. But the city's authorities hope the promise of lower fuel costs, fewer traffic jams and less pollution will make this ancient transport method seem like the way ahead. Hayley Platt, Reuters.