As one of the most prolific creators of carbon footprints, haulage companies and freight forwarders have to take a substantial lead in becoming environmentally conscious. Not only is there a greater public demand for large companies to take responsibility for the side-effects of their industry, but haulage and logistic operations are seeing the technological and financial advantages of become environmental champions. |
Amsterdam has recently piloted an incentive programme to encourage the use of Electric Freight Vehicles for all haulage work. The positive outcomes from this scheme could easily be achieved in the UK if the programme was applied to our market.
Amsterdam Leading the Way
Amsterdam is leading the way towards reducing the haulage industry’s environmental impact by targeting freight companies with operational incentives. Focusing on freight vehicles that frequent busy urban areas, the Amsterdam experiment is encouraging logistics companies to make the change from high-emission, petrol-guzzling trucks and vans to Electric Freight Vehicle (EFVs) that are virtually emission-free.
The city itself has elected to utilise zero-emission vehicles during deliveries within its’ own supply chain. Hoping to encourage other logistics enterprises to follow their good example, the city has also proposed a number of operational incentives to sweeten the deal.
Since 2015 seven logistics companies were granted a number of traffic regulation exemptions based on their individual delivery routes and geographic needs. Many of these changes have had a direct, and positive, impact on haulage work as a whole.
To any everyday ‘Joe Bloggs’ the perks of the programme may sound petty and insignificant. For a Logistics company, and anyone directly involved in haulage work, these bonuses offer excellent benefits. The most appealing incentives have included permission to park in restricted zones, deliveries being allowed during time-restricted hours, the freedom to unload directly on to pavements, and even the authority to enter certain pedestrianised zones.
Time is Money
As a result of these exemptions operators of EFV fleets have reported a much higher level of driver productivity. The statistics have shown that the incentives have:
- Allowed operators to make an additional 4-5 drops per hour. This eventually racked up to a savings of over 30 minutes per day.
- Allowed shorter walking distances for drivers making deliveries. This bonus saved between 15-45 minutes per driver, per day.
- Allowed for average unloading times to be cut by 4-5 minutes per stop, thus saving an extra 30 minutes per day.
- Most importantly the EFV incentive programme saw a significant increase in driver satisfaction. The greater freedom given to those on the front-line of haulage work reduced anxiety and stress. Drivers no longer have to worry about fines in relation to unavailable parking spaces for deliveries, or causing conflicts with other road-users while searching for an appropriate place to stop.
Amsterdam’s pilot programme has proved to be a success. The City is currently planning expand the scheme based on operator’s feedback. Currently, there is a downloadable fact sheet targetted at other countries to demonstrate the positive impact, and viability of using EFVs for zero-emission urban deliveries.
Haulage work, and the industry as whole, has the potential to become leaders for environmental preservation while changing their current practices for the better. By working together, logistics companies and the government can achieve the same goals in a complete win-win situation.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Related Articles -