Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vehicle Telematics Scheduled To Save Freight Haulage Fleet Thousands Of Tonnes Of CO2

Technology Can Cut Emissions and Save Fuel
Shipping News Feature

UK – Across the developed world ‘Vehicle Telematics’ has been a buzzword over the past couple of years amongst some in the freight haulage sector and what was once viewed as another expensive and pretentious add on by many is now being taken very seriously by all those involved with controlling that part of the supply chain concerned with fleet distribution and control.

As systems become more refined and the economy of scale factor cuts costs to make such systems truly efficient, comes news that the entire fleet of John Lewis and Waitrose heavy trucks have been equipped with Daimler’s contribution to the new technology, Daimler FleetBoard, with a move management hope will lead to a cut of at least 4% in vehicle carbon emissions (representing 3,000 tonnes of CO2) through a reduction in the groups current annual fuel consumption of one million litres or more.

Telematic systems utilise long distance communications to gain and transmit information between vehicle and home base enabling the transfer of information via telecommunications of data useful in fleet management. Daimler FleetBoard offers a range of Internet-based services across vehicle and driver management. Compatible with virtually every vehicle make and model, the system analyses driver performance against a range of criteria and highlights areas such as revving, braking, idling, speeding and ‘green band’ driving where improvements can be made to realise environmental and cost benefits.

The John Lewis Partnership runs some 430 trucks with gross weights of 18 tonnes and above, the majority of them 4x2 tractor units plated for operation at 31 tonnes gcw. Kuehne + Nagel also operates a further 70 units on behalf of John Lewis Distribution (which are also being fitted with FleetBoard). Although several truck-makers are represented on the fleet, including Mercedes-Benz, the majority of the John Lewis Partnership’s vehicles are DAFs. The group settled on the system after trials over a year of products from two different sources with Ray Collington their Fleet Engineer saying:

“Our target is to achieve an absolute reduction in operational CO2 emissions by 2020/21 of 15%, against a baseline of 2010/11. On the evidence of the trials we’ve undertaken, we’re hoping that FleetBoard will help us achieve carbon savings of over 4% from our fleet.

“What we really like about FleetBoard is its speed and performance, and the clear reports. The detailed management information provided by the new telematics systems has enabled us to see that our drivers already follow good driving practices. It has also highlighted areas where we can do even better. Once the new systems have bedded in across the entire fleet we will consider other FleetBoard services such as mapping and tracking, and remote digital tachograph downloading”.

Photo: John Lewis Fleet General Manager Justin Laney, left, and Fleet Engineer Ray Collington, right, with Daimler FleetBoard Corporate Business Manager Mark Sach