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Trial by water: UPS testing barge service in NYC

Company in trial program to move trailers across New York harbor

Brown barges to follow? (Photo: UPS Public Affairs/Twitter)

UPS Inc. is testing the delivery waters. Literally.

The transport and logistics giant (NYSE: UPS) is participating in a trial program to transport five trailers round trip by barge across 4.5 miles of New York Harbor from Red Hook, Brooklyn, to Bayonne, New Jersey. This is the first time UPS has experimented with short-sea shipping, a model designed as a delivery alternative to moving goods on congested roads and bridges.

The trial is being conducted in partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MarAd), Red Hook Terminals, Hughes Marine and the New York City Economic Development Corp., UPS said in a LinkedIn post on Monday. It is believed that the journey took place last Friday.

In an emailed statement, UPS said it will “continue to explore various urban logistic[s] options to best serve our customers and work with cities, state and federal government partners in support of our goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.” It declined to comment on specifics about the trial program.

Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.