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Big freight sector players back zero emissions plan

Big freight sector players back zero emissions plan

NZ Truck & Driver News

    

Nine of New Zealand’s largest freight sector companies, including four major road transport operators and two big-brand-name retailers, have joined forces to back a 30-year plan to progressively decarbonise NZ’s freight system.

TIL Logistics Group, Toll NZ, Fonterra and NZ Post are among the companies that are members of the Sustainable Business Council’s Freight Group….

And all have declared their commitment to NZ’s targeted carbon-neutral status by 2050, with an interim 50% reduction by 2030 – and are encouraging others to join them.

The SBC Freight Group, which also boasts Countdown, The Warehouse Group, Lyttelton Port Company, Swire Shipping and Ports of Auckland as members, commissioned the SBC’s Low Carbon Freight Pathway Report.

The report, released at an event hosted by Toll NZ in Auckland last month, is termed “ambitious but achievable” by the council.

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Nine of New Zealand’s largest freight sector companies, including four major road transport operators and two big-brand-name retailers, have joined forces to back a 30-year plan to progressively decarbonise NZ’s freight system.

TIL Logistics Group, Toll NZ, Fonterra and NZ Post are among the companies that are members of the Sustainable Business Council’s Freight Group….

And all have declared their commitment to NZ’s targeted carbon-neutral status by 2050, with an interim 50% reduction by 2030 – and are encouraging others to join them.

The SBC Freight Group, which also boasts Countdown, The Warehouse Group, Lyttelton Port Company, Swire Shipping and Ports of Auckland as members, commissioned the SBC’s Low Carbon Freight Pathway Report.

The report, released at an event hosted by Toll NZ in Auckland last month, is termed “ambitious but achievable” by the council.

Toll NZ executive GM Jon Adams said at the launch that “the decarbonisation of freight is simply the right thing to do and can only come about with collaboration from everyone. Basically, it’s a call to arms.”

Transport Minister Michael Wood, also attending the launch, described the report as an “enormously important work” – adding that “the Government has a serious role to play if we want to achieve the goal of cutting freight emissions in half by 2030.”

The SBC’s Low Carbon Freight Pathway target is to hit that 2030 target – and then achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The report says that without intervention – from the industry and from Government – these targets “are significantly out of reach, given projected increase in freight demand.”

But it proposes a pathway which “shows that significant gross emissions reductions are possible through a transformative action plan for the sector, that includes not only new technologies but also a mind shift across the heavy freight supply chain.”

It proposes “aggressive and early action by major users and the Government” and says the priorities are – in order: The uptake of biodiesel, hydrogen, battery electric vehicles and a freight mode shift from road to rail and coastal shipping where possible… along with optimising the supply chains through collaboration.

According to the Pathway report: “By 2030, 28% of net emissions reductions can be achieved through options that are readily available. These include improved vehicle efficiencies, telemetrics, BEV, freight-flow optimisation and mode shift. 

“These opportunities can be harnessed through improved collaboration across the HV supply chains, a better understanding of customer demand drivers, and Government support to bring some of the required changes forward (eg BEV infrastructure, coastal shipping and rail infrastructure).

“The remainder of emissions will require an increasing uptake of biofuels or hydrogen, especially from 2030. Now is the time to act to remove barriers for those technologies so the scale of transformation is feasible. These barriers include high capital cost for hydrogen vehicles, and failures in the biofuels market.”

The report proposes an overall pathway (involving road, rail and sea transport modes) with three categories of solutions. The first involves fleet optimisation and modal shift: “Ensuring the current fleet is operating as efficiently as possible, minimising freight movement and moving freight in the most efficient way.”

The second is using G2 biofuels in the existing vehicle stock to minimise emissions.

And the third embraces the electrification of transport operations, primarily through battery electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell EVs.

For the road freight pathway, it identifies emissions reduction opportunities including training drivers to make good low fuel use decisions, delivery route optimisation to reduce travelling distances and widening delivery windows – “allowing congestion to be missed and route optimisation enhanced.”

Other measures identified include reducing rolling resistance through fully-inflated tyres and the use of high-efficiency tyres, using anti-idling technology, reducing truck tare weights by lightening the likes of heavy rear doors, improving aerodynamics on long-haul trucks with the use of cowlings and skirts, and increasing carrying capacity “by using larger trucks to move more freight in one go.”

It also suggests “collaborative utilisation between companies to maximise load sizes, minimise empty running and optimise freight modes.” Existing distribution hub utilisation should be maximised to cut last-mile fuel use and freight should be directed to “coastal shipping/rail where possible, rather than on road.”

And, in terms of fuel use, it proposes the use of a 5% blend of G1 biodiesel in all heavy and medium trucks in NZ – evolving to battery electric trucks and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles….or the use of 100% G2 biodiesel in all remaining heavy vehicles.

Each of the nine companies in the SBC Freight Group has initiated its own measures: Adams announced that Toll NZ, for instance, will add two all-electric FUSO eCanters to its fleet in July, servicing the Auckland metro area.

And it is, he says, also reviewing the integration of G2 biodiesel – made from 100% renewable sources, primarily waste and residues – and hydrogen to power its longer distance linehaul movements.  

“We are commencing a G2 biodiesel trial with the Ports of Auckland and The Warehouse Group this month. End to end, the collaborative trial will only use G2 biodiesel from the port tug to the customer. 

“The great benefit of G2 biodiesel is that we can implement it straight away using our current fleet, as it does not require a change in fuelling operation or engines. Whilst this is an interim solution, it is an important step until other technologies gain traction.”  

Tolls says that the use of hydrogen to power long-haul trucks is also being trialled with The Warehouse Group. 

Countdown is moving freight outside peak traffic hours and TIL Logistics is to trial hydrogen FCEVs in league with Waitomo Group and Hiringa Energy.

And The Warehouse Group last month put four light-duty electric trucks into service on home deliveries of whiteware, appliances and other large items, in Auckland, Hamilton, Tauranga and Christchurch.

The company’s chief sustainability officer David Benattar says: “Moving goods to our customers is an essential part of our operations and decarbonising our transport and logistics is one of our business priorities.”

“It is our hope that the introduction of these trucks will accelerate the commercial uptake of electric vehicles because we will be able to demonstrate their viability in operational practice.”

Benattar says the acquisition of the EV trucks, with partial funding from the Government’s Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, is an investment in the Group’s ongoing transition to electric vehicles – “an integral part of supporting the country’s efforts to decarbonise our economy.

“As one of NZ’s largest retailers, we recognise that we have a crucial role to play, but we cannot do it alone. The deployment of decarbonisation solutions requires collaboration between a wide group of stakeholders to make them economically viable and operationally successful.”  


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