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Friday 25, August

Meet Berlin’s new fleet of solar-powered delivery boats 

DHL's solar-powered delivery boats are expanding their pilot program to ship parcels across Berlin emission free.

Photo: © Deutsche Post DHL/Jens Schlüter

Friday 25, August

Meet Berlin’s new fleet of solar-powered delivery boats

They’ve been running for almost a year, but DHL are already planning an expansion. From Spandau to Humboldthafen in the west, from Köpenick to Osthafen in the east, these distinctive yellow boats will soon be chugging around the city, delivering parcels emission-free, thanks to the fact that they’re powered by solar energy.

Parcel transport using these boats started in October last year, and since then up to 350 parcels per day have been delivered in this way – admittedly a small proportion of the 250,000 delivered across Berlin on a normal day.

In view of the rapidly growing number of online orders in recent years, the boat delivery system seems like an excellent solution for reducing traffic and pollution in the city. An emission-fee truck delivers parcels to the boat at its loading point – with the cargo then transported by electric cargo bikes at the other end. There are also plans for solar-powered packing stations at the ships stopping points.

The new routes will run from Osthafen to Kopenick, while the current Spandau route will be extended to include two more stops, at Humboldthafen, Hauptbahnhof and at Wikingerufer in Moabit.