Volvo aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 30 per cent from its 2006 base by 2015, according to a report by Volvo Logistics which develops and purchases transport for the group.
The group says it has cut CO2 emissions from transport of goods and products in Europe by 22 per cent between 2006 and 2010.
Volvo Logistics is the Volvo Group’s lead logistics provider with about 1,000 staff around the world. The report summarises the work that began in 2008 when Volvo Trucks and Volvo Logistics challenged its transport suppliers. The reduction also includes transport for Volvo Car Corporation.
Volvo’s 32m rig can take two 40ft containers.
Susanna Hambeson, environmental manager at Volvo Logistics, said: “Our objective is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from our transport in Europe by 30 per cent by 2015, with 2006 as the base year.”
Key measures include training drivers in fuel efficient driving techniques – about three quarters have now received this training.
In addition, trucks have been equipped with engines that consume less fuel and emit less carbon dioxide. Cargo space is being used more efficiently, thus enabling the transport of more goods at the same time.
In Sweden, the group has been able to make even bigger savings by using longer truck rigs than elsewhere in Europe. In the UK, the standard draw-bar limit is 18.75m but in Sweden Volvo is using 25.25m units. It can also use 32m units to move containers between its Gothenburg terminal and the harbour – allowing it to move two 40ft containers instead of one.
It says the next step could involve the use of a 48m long rig that can transport up to three 40-foot containers, which would further reduce CO2 emissions.
Hambeson said: “In most cases, road transport is the only efficient alternative, which is why we are cooperating with our trucking companies in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of transport. We are also aiming to find more ways of integrating road, rail and marine solutions.”
It is looking for ways of using marine and train services to supplement road transport in cases where harbours and railways satisfy the group’s demands for reliability and precision.
For example, marine transport of goods and products can currently operate more smoothly because one of the shipping lines commissioned by Volvo has lengthened its vessels.
Another example is Viking Rail, a train concept launched by Volvo Logistics in 2008 for cargo between Germany and Sweden. This enables trailers to be loaded on low-floor goods wagons in southern Germany, connecting the wagons to complete train sets in northern Germany and then driving the trains to Gothenburg, where the cargo is reloaded and transported by truck to the final destination.