Tesco to ship wine by canal

Tesco is to ship wine to its Manchester bottling plant via canal barge, rather than lorry.

The move will result in “thousands of lorries being taken off Britain’s congested roads”, according to the supermarket giant.

Cargo will be transported along the 40-mile route from Liverpool to Manchester, unloaded and driven a short distance to the bottling plant.

Previously, Tesco’s New World wine was delivered at various docks in the south of England, then driven up to Manchester.

Replacing 50 lorry journeys each week with the waterborne alternative will cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent it said.

Tesco plans to use similar water freight routes across Britain.

Distribution director Laurie McIlwee said: “Other businesses have merely discussed switching over to transporting their cargo by waterway one day but we’re actually doing it.

“This move will be like taking a step back to the pre-car days of the late Victorian era - when a lot of cargo was still transported by canal – but is a step forward in helping to address today’s important environmental issues.

The new cargo service will start on October 18 and will involve three journeys a week, delivering an estimated 600,000 litres of wine on each journey along the 40-mile stretch of the canal.