May 17, 2020

DHL uses barge transport to lower emissions in Germany

Freddie Pierce
2 min
DHL aims to cut its emissions by 30% by 2020
Follow @Ella_Copeland Air and Ocean freight specialist DHL Global Forwarding has stepped up its focus on less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments at it...

Air and Ocean freight specialist DHL Global Forwarding has stepped up its focus on less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments at its transshipment port in Bremen.

The company has begun to use barges for smaller loads, resulting in a 62 percent reduction in Co² emissions on transport routes, according to a statement released by DHL.

"Our offer to transport containers by barge has proven successful for our customers. By transporting significantly larger volumes of LCL containers by barge, we have been putting our GoGreen program into practice and improving the carbon footprint of the goods we ship – as well as our own,” explains Volker Oesau, CEO DHL Global Forwarding Middle & Southern Europe.

Since April 2011, DHL has been offering customers the option of switching from road to rail transport at the transshipment port in Bremen. Transport by barge extends the multimodal service which DHL offers its customers – an attractive alternative, especially for companies in Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

The container transshipment port in Bremen is one of the most important sea freight centres in Europe. Since 2012, roughly 80 percent of all containers have been transported onward by rail, however  transport by road still remains an option in order to stay flexible.

This is the latest move by DHL has in an effort to reduce the CO² emissions of its own operations and those of its transport contractors by 30 percent between now and 2020 (in relation to the reference year 2007). 

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 


Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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