May 17, 2020

BOC and Stobart expand use of low-carbon HGVs

Boc
The Stobart Group
Heavy Goods Vehicles
Sustainability
Freddie Pierce
3 min
Eddie Stobart HGVs will be powered by LNG
Follow @WDMEllaCopeland Logistics specialists the Stobart Group are teaming up with, the UKs largest supplier of compressed and liquefied gases, in an...

Logistics specialists the Stobart Group are teaming up with , the UK’s largest supplier of compressed and liquefied gases, in an effort to promote the benefits of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) as a low-carbon fuel alternative for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)

 As part of a £23 million programme co-ordinated by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board, the project aims to encourage road haulage operators in the UK to buy and use low carbon commercial vehicles.

BOC, which is a member of the Linde Group, will provide refuelling facilities for the Eddie Stobart fleet of dual-fuel vehicles at one of the Stobart Group’s regional hubs with scope for other operators to use the facilities.

SEE RECENT STORIES FROM THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK:

IEA warn of the dangers of losing US trade route

FTR estimates truckers will recoup losses from Sandy

Royal Mail announces £75mil expansion

BOC has developed a highly-efficient, ‘no-loss’ technology, using its expertise in cryogenic cooling technology to temperature-condition the fuel just prior to dispensing. This ensures that no fuel is lost to evaporation and venting during the refuelling process. Typically, 20 percent – and sometimes more – can be lost with more conventional systems, so this represents a major cost and carbon saving to users. The design and engineering of the new LNG dispensing systems have gas-leak detection sensors linked to automatic shutdown protocols and other innovative safety features.

The new systems are backed up by the global expertise of The Linde Group which operates LNG supply systems in other parts of the world, including Scandinavia, Australia and the USA.

The systematic evaluation of the vehicles and the refuelling technologies in the field, as an integrated part of a large vehicle fleet, will help identify potential further refinements of the technology and provide opportunities to improve sustainability in the logistics sector.

BOC’s Director of Bulk and Packaged Gases, Nathan Palmer, said: “Minimising fuel losses when refuelling will make a major improvement to the already strong environmental credentials of LNG as a transport fuel. This project will allow us and the Stobart Group to quantify just what is possible with this technology.”The project will track the usage of LNG – which typically accounts for up to 65-70 percent of total fuel consumption for a dual-fuel vehicle – as well as the reduction in CO2 emissions. It will also provide an opportunity to rigorously assess BOC’s innovative refuelling technology.

The fuel

BOC has developed a highly-efficient, ‘no-loss’ technology, using its expertise in cryogenic cooling technology to temperature-condition the fuel just prior to dispensing. This ensures that no fuel is lost to evaporation and venting during the refuelling process. Typically, 20 percent – and sometimes more – can be lost with more conventional systems, so this represents a major cost and carbon saving to users. The design and engineering of the new LNG dispensing systems have gas-leak detection sensors linked to automatic shutdown protocols and other innovative safety features.

The new systems are backed up by the global expertise of The Linde Group which operates LNG supply systems in other parts of the world, including Scandinavia, Australia and the USA.

The systematic evaluation of the vehicles and the refuelling technologies in the field, as an integrated part of a large vehicle fleet, will help identify potential further refinements of the technology and provide opportunities to improve sustainability in the logistics sector.

BOC’s Director of Bulk and Packaged Gases, Nathan Palmer, said: “Minimising fuel losses when refuelling will make a major improvement to the already strong environmental credentials of LNG as a transport fuel. This project will allow us and the Stobart Group to quantify just what is possible with this technology.”

Share article

Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

FedEx
Logistics
LastMile
AutonomousVehicles
3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics. 

The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener". 

FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, beyond the boundaries mass movement of goods from A-B. The logistics company says the exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its experimentation in new autonomy solutions, both in-warehouse and on-road. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, vice president, advanced technology and innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”

 

The changing role of couriers 

Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time. 

But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse. 

“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”

Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds. 

Last mile's role in ESG

Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings. 
 

Share article