Thursday, April 7, 2016

Road Haulage Takes a Step Forward with Introduction of the Mega Truck

Another European Country Trials Larger Freight Vehicles
Shipping News Feature
SPAIN – A 25.25 metre long mega truck with a maximum road haulage gross mass of 60 tonnes, has successfully made its first Spanish road and motorway journey, between Palau-solità i Plegamans (Barcelona) and Martorell. This pilot test aimed to demonstrate the viability of implementing mega trucks, also known as road trains, and asserting their regular use as freight transporters in Spain, following the example of other countries in Europe where such trucks are already permitted to operate, including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal and some regions of Norway.

The maiden trip was promoted by the non-profit industry association, Catalan Automotive Industry Cluster (CIAC) with the participation of SEAT as project leader plus the involvement of Grupo Sesé, CIMALSA, Grupo Carreras, Tecnicarton, and SF Consultants. These companies have been working jointly in the CIAC Logistics Commission since June 2015 to carry out the test.

The vehicle, basically an oversize truck and drawbar set up, was equipped with built-in sensors that monitored parameters for several systems on the route, especially related to safety aspects including braking, manoeuvrability, and the resistance of mechanical elements among others. SEAT Logistics Director Enric Martí, said:

“We are very proud to lead this pioneering initiative in Spain, which will have a direct impact on the efficiency and sustainability of the logistics processes at the Martorell plant. The success of this pilot test makes us optimistic, and can therefore expect to cover three routes on the Iberian Peninsula with mega trucks in upcoming months.”

According to the CIAC Logistics Commission, the implementation of mega trucks can result in a 22% saving in logistics costs, lowering the price of each tonne of transported goods, as the capacity of two mega trucks is equivalent to three conventional vehicles. The implementation of these mega trucks also leads to energy savings and environmental improvement, as fewer trucks on the roads can result in lowering CO2 emissions and polluting gases by up to 14%. Federico Ballester, Transport Division Director of Grupo Sesé, a supplier of SEAT and the company which purchased the mega truck, added:

“Breakthroughs in logistics have to be made through innovation and technological development, and our aim as a company is to always be ahead of them. The tests that have been carried out with the mega truck put us in a privileged position and enable us to lead these new services. Nowadays we can assert that our customers are redesigning their logistics flows by relying on the mega truck and that we are ready to make them a reality.”