Biscuit maker turns to canals for low-carbon haulage

10th October 2011


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International confectionary firm United Biscuits has begun transporting its products by barge cutting transport emissions by a third, the firm has announced.

The UK-based manufacturer of Jaffa Cakes, McVitie’s biscuits and Penguins, has committed to using Europe’s inland waterways to move up to 65% of the biscuits it exports to North America each year, following a study by the Flemish government highlighting the environmental and cost benefits of using canals to transport goods.

United Biscuits took part in a pilot for the report in January, discovering that sending containers from the Belgian town of Willebroek to the port of Antwerp via barge rather than road transport cut carbon dioxide emissions by 31%.

“We did trial runs with around 10 tonnes of product per container to test things like temperature control, timescales and lead times, and linkages between our logistical providers and the outcome was absolutely positive,” confirmed Nico Van Puyenbroek, the company’s logistics and distribution manager for Northern Europe.

“There is no operational impact whatsoever, there’s potential for future cost savings and huge environmental benefits, which fits in perfectly with our focus on sustainability and ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.”

By March 2012 the manufacturer aims to have 80% of its goods for the US and Canada being transported via barge.

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