Bonn, Germany — DHL Freight has deployed one of the very first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Iveco Stralis long-haul trucks capable of towing a mega trailer.
During a year-long trial period the truck will operate as a daily shuttle between DHL’s logistics center and a BMW Group production plant in southern Germany. Thanks to a higher loading height and increased fuel efficiency, mega trailers in road transport are particularly important for the automotive industry, making BMW Group the ideal partner for testing in Germany. Since last year’s contract renewal with the BMW Group, DHL has been managing the automotive manufacturer’s supply chain in seven additional areas, as well as all road transport between 17 countries.
“The combination of LNG truck and mega trailer is a promising sustainable solution for automotive logistics. We are able to meet the customer’s transport requirements in the best possible way, while also significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the supply chain. The increase in fuel efficiency and proven reduction of harmful emissions that comes with using natural gas help to make long-distance road transport more sustainable,” states Uwe Brinks, CEO DHL Freight.
DHL Freight has gained initial experience with LNG trucks in Belgium. Since summer 2018, four of these heavy-duty, long-haul trucks have been part of a sustainable transport solution for one of the world’s largest developers and sellers of athletic footwear and sportswear. Now, for the first time, a natural gas-powered truck can be combined with a mega trailer, a feat previously not possible due to tank design. An internal loading height of three meters makes this equipment a preferred solution in the automotive sector as it offers not only more loading capacity but also the possibility of loading larger spare parts.
During a year-long trial period the truck will operate as a daily shuttle between DHL’s logistics center and a BMW Group production plant in southern Germany. (Photo: Andreas Heddergott)
Based on Deutsche Post DHL Group’s target to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050, DHL Freight is increasingly investing in alternative drives for short- and long-distance transportation. LNG-fueled trucks offer 15% higher fuel efficiency compared to traditional diesel-powered engines and have a reach of 1500 kilometers. This represents an immediate cost saving. They also emit 99% less particulate matter and up to 70% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions than the levels required by the current Euro VI diesel norms. The greatly reduced noise levels emitted by the LNG-powered engines provide an additional benefit when travel includes inner-city areas and around-the-clock transportation.