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In Paris, IKEA furniture now delivered by boat via the Seine river

"We're offering your packages a cruise!" That's the text plastered on the sides of large, white, IKEA-branded crates that now float down the Seine on river barges.

Starting this month, IKEA is using the French river to transport home goods from its warehouse in Gennnevilliers, 9 km northwest of Paris, down to customers in the capital city. Once they've arrived in Paris, crates are loaded onto electric vehicles for last-mile delivery.

By using the river instead of roads, IKEA expects to be able to offer more home delivery slots for customers in Paris. And — benefiting everyone — it's estimated that the solution will result in CO2 emissions up to five times lower than road delivery and 300,000 fewer kilometers driven on the streets of Paris.

Trend Bite

Anything that retailers can do to take trucks off busy city streets is a win. For the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, for children breathing in exhaust fumes, for historic streets and for anyone stuck in traffic. That's too much impact to not act as fast as you can to find alternative cargo solutions.

IKEA partnered with Box2Home. More likely than not, your region has startups that are more than eager for you to use their networks of boats, bikes, e-pallets, scooters and electric motorcycles. And make sure your new, urban-friendly mode of transport is visible — every time consumers see your goods moving around, it'll be proof of concrete actions you're taking to improve their wellbeing. As always when it comes to stories: showing beats telling ;-)

Related: Autonomous Roboat transports people and trash through Amsterdam's canals

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Thomas Klaffke