Sir; Using water for freight transport is not radical thinking - it is a case of the experiences of the past shaping the future ('Barge over, you lorries' The Grocer, 14 July, p34).
Water-freight transport is an ancient notion but provides an obvious solution to UK supply-chain managers in terms of delivering goods sustainably, particularly to highly-congested urban areas.
We were the conduit for Sainsbury's successful water-borne trial using Cory Environmental's barge service. The trial beat the road four days out of five, demonstrating it is faster than the existing lorry system.
The speed of delivery challenges the myth water freight is too slow for the just-in time industry. The trial demonstrated a real alternative to road transport because water is sustainable. There is plenty of capacity, and boat and barge operators are keen to provide their services.
Water transport will also offer Sainsbury's and other retailers a solution to the transport of waste and recyclable products. A case of sustainable joined-up thinking.