Barloworld Logistics unveils “green trailer”

Barloworld Logistics unveils “green trailer”

With commercial transport being one of the biggest single sources of carbon emissions in global supply chains, Barloworld Logistics was inspired to collaborate on a key initiative that brings together lean process thinking with a commitment to innovation and environmental sustainability – a "green trailer"

The green trailer is an interlink taut liner trailer combination which, through some practical innovation, achieves significant reductions in fuel consumption.

According to Francois van Rensburg, divisional director of Barloworld Logistics, 80% of businesses that responded to the 2009 supplychainforesight research study indicated that increasing transportation efficiency is seen as a leading initiative to benefit the environment.

"Transport is the biggest area in logistics that affects the environment directly, but is one of the easiest components to address strategically," said van Rensburg. "Within the South African context, transport is responsible for approximately 13% (CSIR study) of South Africa’s total green house gas emissions. Our thinking, therefore, was that an innovative approach to the problem would be one that tackles the transport issue head on."

The green trailer project focuses on sustainability and profitability as two sides of the same coin. Another key aspect of the project was the way in which industry specialists and service providers collaborate to achieve a worthy goal.

As van Rensburg says: "Many people in the supply chain and transport industries talk about the necessity for collaboration, but this is a case in point about what can be achieved when experts in the field work towards a common goal."

Many partners were involved in the green trailer project, with primary research conducted by the CSIR, the design by Barloworld Logistics, and aerodynamic changes to the rig, with structural changes done by Afrit and all the aerodynamic components manufactured by Aerotruck.

Van Rensburg says that all changes made to the green trailer are within the bounds of current legislation. "It was also decided that whatever changes we made would be backed by research data and that these changes would be practical in normal operating conditions. The focus of the project was therefore to provide a sustainable road transportation solution for our clients that is both practical and which complies with legislation."

The research for the green trailer was conducted on the N3 between Johannesburg and Durban. The vehicles on this route do a round trip of 1,160 km on a dedicated route every 24 hours, and 98% of the route is on the N3 and N2. This meant that the vehicles maintained a much more constant speed compared to vehicles operating on secondary roads or in urban areas. It also meant that the effects of wind resistance were higher than on any other route.

Initial research in the UK revealed that a fuel saving of 20.4% could be achieved by a curtainsider teardrop rigid trailer travelling at a constant speed of 80 km/h. A saving of 10.1% could be achieved by a curtainsider semi-trailer was travelling at 63 km/h. The initial simulations based on the green trailer research have shown that, once all these changes were made, there was a 35% reduction in the total drag when travelling at a constant speed between 70 and 80 km/h.

The expected reduction in fuel consumption on the green trailer project for the next six months will be between 6% and 8%.

Quelle: eyefortransport

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