Zero-emission city logistics over water gains popularity

KOTUG E-Pusher increasingly used for emission-free and efficient waterborne transport of various cargo flows in Dutch inner cities.

(Read the article in Dutch)

For several cities, 2022 was the year in which the City Barge was introduced. It is the smallest model of the KOTUG E-Pusher series and is a collaboration between KOTUG and Circle Line Logistics. The pusher boat of the Rotterdam-based Kotug is designed to transport almost all types of cargo in inner cities as an alternative to diesel boats, but also for heavy trucks that are already banned in many cities worldwide. The logistics concept behind the boat and the modular design are characterized by simplicity and efficiency.

Transport of construction waste, building materials and project cargo
Since the first launch of the E-Pusher in 2020, there has been widespread interest. The E-Pusher was first used in the municipality of Utrecht by contractor Van Zoelen to remove demolition waste and to supply construction materials while renovating historic buildings in the city centre. The zero-emission waterborne transport from the construction site to the hub outside the city centre is executed together with van Hees.

The E-Pusher also is an excellent means of transport for project cargo such as scaffolding and other large objects.

Driven by a search for clean and affordable transport, more parties soon followed, such as deck barges owner Blom in Amsterdam, which uses the E-Pusher for emission-free transport of construction materials on their barges in the center of Amsterdam.

The KOTUG City Barge 2 in Amsterdam

Wet contracting
In December 2022, Van Veen Grondwerken used the City Barge in the municipality of Rotterdam to carry out an inspection of the Piekbrug. This way, the foundations of bridges and quay walls are efficiently inspected from the boat. Due to the very stable position of the boat, inspections can even be carried out without a pontoon.

Inspection of the Piek bridge in Rotterdam

The pusher boat is perfect for quay refurbishing/renewal and for dredging; loaded barges are pushed out of the city via the waterways which means heavy truck transport in the congested streets of the city centre is something from the past.

E-Pusher seen from above

A metro line over water for goods transport
In collaboration with Circle Line Logistics, Kotug’s City Barge is even more than just a boat; it is a logistics concept for emission-free city logistics. Various ship stations are currently being developed in the canals of Leiden where the E-Pusher will moor according to a fixed daily schedule. It’s like a public transport service, only for goods. Local companies can use this service and add their cargo.

At the end of 2022, a timetable for building materials will be set up for a renovation project at Leiden University, with a fixed stop on the outskirts of the city and a temporary stop at the construction site. It is a project together with partners Constructif, Renewi and with support from the municipality of Leiden, the Province of South Holland and Top Sector Logistics. In the coming year, we will expand this metro service to other construction projects and cargo flows.

As a playful kick-off to this project, the municipality of Leiden, together with partners Renewi and Circle Lines Logistics, used the City Barge to collect Christmas trees in the first week of January.

Collaboration with Provinces and Municipalities
With a view to the Modal Shift and stricter rules regarding road transport in inner cities, the Provinces of North and South Holland and Utrecht, and various municipalities are closely involved in achieving better use of waterways. The province of South Holland has been a partner from the very beginning.

Advanced technology for real-time insight into cargo flows
Soon the boats will also use new technologies in which the boat is ‘connected’ to the cargo and sails the smartest route.

Next steps: store supplies and?
For 2023, in addition to the above applications, the supply of shops in inner cities is on the agenda, as we speak, agreements are being made with several retail chains. For more information about the extensive possibilities of the Kotug E-Pusher, please contact us! For the development of metro services over water in and around the city center, contact Circle Line Logistics

N.B. In addition to the City Barge, the E-Pusher series also consists of three larger models for respective transport on smaller and larger waterways. In the second half of 2023, the E-Pusher M will sail between the port of Amsterdam and Zaandam for Cargill’s cocoa division. This boat differs from other push boats due to its modular design and interchangeable energy container.

The revolutionary modular design of the E-Pusher, with a swappable energy container.