Ferrero France had previously transported goods between Rouen and Paris by truck.
Now, Ferrero has partnered with logistics firm STEF-TFE to transport Nutella, Mon Chéri, Kinder and Ferrero Rocher by ferry on a water lane under temperature controlled conditions.
Once a week, Ferrero will load a 23-pallet container containing Ferrero products onto a truck at its warehouse in Grand Quevilly, Normandy.
The truck will travel around 15 minutes to the port of Rouen where the container will be loaded on a barge bound for Gennevilliers port, north of Paris. The barge is to depart at 3pm on Fridays for an 8am arrival on Monday mornings.
The water lane is operated by the MARFRET company and managed by Voies Navigables de France, a public body under Department for Environment and Sustainable Development, Transport and Housing.
Finally, a truck carries the container from Gennevilliers port to a retailer warehouse in Marly-la-ville, a journey of around 35 minutes.
Grégory Debuchy, Ferrero supply chain Manager for France, Belgium and Holland said: "Clean, quiet and reliable, water
lanes offer a good alternative to road transport of goods. It offers a high volume transport solution and helps
us to continually improve the CO2 footprint of our logistics activities."
However, a Ferrero France spokesperson told this site that the group recieved no government subsidies for using barge transport and at present had seen no savings in costs or time.
Ferrero soon plans to transport five containers per week, which it said would lead to a 30% emissions reduction, take 260 truckloads off the road and result in 55,000 km travelled on water.
The Ferrero France spokesperson said that once the frequency on this line had been increased, a new route from Rhone to Lyon Marseille would be tested in 6 to 12 months.
The company said that the current move formed part of Ferrero Group’s sustainability strategy to cut 40% of CO2 emissions by 2020 compared to 2007 levels.
By 2020, the group aims to cut 30% in direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions from transport and storage activities.
It plans to increase its use of intermodal transport by 10% by 2015 to achieve this goal, with more products moving by rail or water.
Others using waterways
Another food company using barge transport is snacks giant United Biscuits which uses inland waterway shipping to transport good from its Delacre factories in Lambermont, Belgium and Nieppe, France. It has estimated that the move will save 31% on CO2 compared to road transport and eventually help it cut costs.