Truck-based freight distribution is a major concern in Utrecht’s city centre. Heavy vehicles damage the historical culture heritage of the city and cause nuisance in the form of accidents, noise and air pollution. The city council has therefore introduced a number of vehicle restrictions in the inner city including time windows for freight traffic to deliver goods and a low emission zone. But, since good accessibility is crucial for the city’s economic viability, it was also decided to expand the existing water transport with the introduction of a zero-emission electrical vessel to transport goods to clients, shops, bars and restaurants in the city centre. The concept is known as the 'Beer Boat' since the vessel initially transported mainly beer and beverages to catering businesses along the canals.
The MIMOSA measure consists of the implementation of a new electric vessel and a search for new customers and suppliers to increase transported volumes. Utrecht had set itself the objective to:
• Decrease road goods traffic in the city centre; and
• Make better use of the potential for waterborne transport for supplying the city.