First CityBarge ready for the roll-out of a revolutionary urban logistics concept

CityBarge One

Cleaner and safer cities thanks to the unique link between smart ships and middle- and last-mile platforms

Rotterdam, September 21, 2020

CityBarge is an urban logistics concept that originated from the ambition to make cities more liveable. For this, we make use of the existing canals for the distribution of waste and other cargo. By combining an electric push boat with a system of push barges and mini-hubs on the canals, logistics flows in the historic city centers can be moved from the road to the water. CityBarge presents a breakthrough in sustainable middle-mile transport, which is still primarily executed by road. Consequently, this leads to CO2 emissions and congested roads in the city center. Today the first CityBarge, named the ‘CityBarge One’, was presented at the launch of the Netherlands Forum Smart Shipping (SMASH) in Rotterdam.

A successful collaboration between government and industry

CityBarge is the result of a co-creation process between various start-ups, government institutions, scientists, and experts from leading companies in the public and private sectors. CityBarge was created with the support of the province of South Holland within the investment program “Investing to renew“.

 “Unique to the CityBarge concept is the link between smart ships and mobile energy platforms. As well as the system of transshipment areas on the outskirts of cities coupled to green logistics within the cities facilitated by electric trucks and bicycles. Together we close the loop”, says Geert-Jan van der Wielen, Director of CityBarge. “Cleaner air and less congested roads in inner cities, while still having the convenience of being able to dispose of your household waste close to home. An additional advantage is that more attention can be paid to renovating the historic quays.”

High tech applications

Although the use of canals for logistics is an age-old principle, CityBarge’s ships are equipped with high-tech applications. Examples are GPS sensors and detection cameras.  New applications can easily be plugged in. For instance, the ‘google maps’ for waterways and smart planning software, allowing vessels to sail safely, efficiently, and even autonomously in the long term. Manufacturing a second CityBarge is only a matter of weeks, due to the efficient modular assembly process.

The CityBarge project is established by the Province of South Holland, the Municipality of Delft, CityBarge, City Hub, KOTUG International, FYNLY, and Skoon. It is supported by partners Nokia, Dell EMC, SPIE and Innotractor.