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DHL Freight pilots first LNG truck with mega trailer in Germany

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LNG Industry,

DHL Freight has announced that it has deployed one of the first LNG-powered Iveco Stralis long-haul trucks capable of towing a mega trailer.

According to the statement, the truck will take part in a year-long trial, operating as a daily shuttle between DHL’s logistics centre and a BMW Group production plant located in southern Germany. Due to their higher loading height and increased fuel efficiency, DHL claims that mega trailers in road transport are key for the automotive industry, making BMW Group the ideal partner for testing in Germany. Since last year’s contract renewal with 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.

Uwe Brinks, CEO DHL Freight, said: “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.”

In the statement, DHL claims that it has gained initial experience with LNG trucks in Belgium. Since summer of last year, 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, which was not previously possible due to tank design. An internal loading height of 3 m 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.

Based on Deutsche Post DHL Group’s aim to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050, DHL Freight claims that it is investing more and more into alternative drives for both short and long distance transportation. LNG-fuelled trucks can offer 15% higher fuel efficiency compared to traditional diesel-powered engines, and have a reach of 1500 km. This represents an immediate cost saving. In addition to this, they also emit 99% less particulate matter and up to 70% less nitrogen oxide 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.

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