Deutsche Post looking to use solar-powered ships to deliver mail
Solar postal ships set to be introduced in Germany
According to the international company, talks with Berlin districts are still ongoing but it hopes to have the first solar ship on the river by autumn at the latest, possibly even during the summer. “We plan to initially use at least one solar-powered ship on the Spree," Deutsche Post said. "The starting point will be Berlin's Westhafen."
The ships will be used to transport post from one part of the German city to the other. Once unloaded from the ships, the post and packages will be reloaded onto transport vehicles and distributed to the districts for final delivery. Before the boats are put into action, the infrastructure for loading and unloading the ships needs to be put in place.
The amount of post that will be delivered using the solar ships is yet to be determined. "Measured against the total daily volume, however, it will be comparatively small at the beginning," the postal company said.
Berlin solar boat project in collaboration with TU
The plans for solar-powered postal delivery ships have been known since mid-May, and Deutsche Post has partnered up with the Technical University of Berlin (TU) to make the ships a reality. "In metropolitan regions with an existing waterway infrastructure with low utilisation, the shipping mode of transport usually offers massive free capacities for the shift of freight traffic from the congested roads to the water," a statement from the university said.
Deutsche Post has explained that it would also like to operate autonomous electric ships at some point in the future.