The Scottish government is spending £255,000 on a plan to put freight onto the Caledonian Canal, which it reckons will take 15,000 lorry trips off the road.
The 60 mile Caledonian Canal runs the length of the Great Glen allowing vessels to sail from the west coast via Fort William up to Inverness and the North Sea.
A six month pilot scheme aims to transport 7,600 tonnes of timber on the canal as well as 6,000 tonnes of timber from Loch Etive to Corpach.
In addition, a mobile floating pier on Loch Etive will be used to transfer 108,000 tonnes of timber by water over the next five years.
Follow a maiden voyage by the MV Kanutta through the canal, Stewart Stevenson, Scottish minister for transport, infrastructure and climate change, said: “Not only will this route further open up Scotland for business, it will also support our aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by taking lorries off our roads, and helping to clear congestion on the vital A82 route.
“The Scottish Government is working closely with British Waterways and Highland and Islands Enterprise to enable our canals to become an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative transport method.”