Helping the world go green

Transport and logistics companies will soon be operating under increasingly stringent emission-control norms in many of the world’s biggest cities. What can they do to ensure that they comply with these regulations while running their businesses profitably? Read on to know more.

Text: Kamala Govindan

Cities across the world are taking steps to curb pollution and improve the quality of their air. The City of London is a case in point with Mayor Sadiq Khan set to introduce Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) starting 2019.

“The air in London is lethal. It is responsible for more than 9000 early deaths each year in London, and 40,000 early deaths across the country,” said Khan in an interview to Energy Live News. “I am not willing to stand by and do nothing. So we are taking bold and decisive action.”

The ULEZ comes on the back of a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme already in force in the city, which affects heavy vehicles. Under the new scheme, all older diesel and petrol vehicles, which do not follow the same tight emission-control norms as newer vehicles, will be charged a fee for entering certain areas of the city.

Towards cleaner cities

By 2021, the scheme would have been extended to the North Circular and South Circular roads as well, potentially affecting over 100,000 vehicles each day. Similar schemes are being explored across the world by cities such as Glasgow, Madrid and Beijing. That’s not all. New laws are also being considered to restrict the movement of heavy machinery, and limit just how much noise equipment makes, especially in residential areas.

While this will go a long way in improving the quality of life in these cities, these laws will also put pressure on logistics and transport companies whose services are essential to keeping day-to-day life moving.

This includes delivery and freight services who work behind the scenes to ensure that people get the products that they have ordered online, or are even able to go to their local supermarket and find it fully stocked. While the future may be all about zero emissions, people will still expect, nay demand that they are still able to access services that they are enjoying today. This means that the businesses that operate in this sector have to be able to comply with the new laws.

“To give credit where it is due, the people who have drafted this legislation have given ample notice so that everybody is able to ensure that their vehicles are compliant. Or if they are not, that they have options or opportunities to make sure that they are compliant in the future,” explains Michael O'Reilly, Product Manager – Truck Mounted Forklifts at Hiab.

Logistics and transport companies are investing in new, more modern solutions that are both emission and noise compliant, while also being efficient enough to allow them to run their businesses profitably. In the case of Pets At Home, the UK’s largest pet supplies retailer, they decided to use Hiab’s MOFFETT E-series range of truck-mounted forklifts to solve their problems in one go.

“I manage the store delivery operations in the UK for our 423 retail outlets,” says Steve Travis, Transport Manager at Pets At Home. “The MOFFETT Zero Emission E4 Truck helps us to achieve our aims in two ways, firstly by reducing our carbon footprint, and secondly by minimising the environmental impact of night time deliveries due to the very low noise.”

Going electric

The E-Series MOFFETT is the world’s first Lithium-ion powered electric truck mounted forklift, and its emission-free and silent running features make it popular among businesses working in urban areas. It also helps that all MOFFETT trucks are ULEZ compliant making it easier for businesses to comply with upcoming emissions regulations.

Pets At Home first put the MOFFETT E-Series through its paces during a series of trials. After receiving positive feedback from their driver network, the company ordered a fleet of trucks to be included in their nation-wide operations.

“They needed to do deliveries and get in and out in record time. The E-series MOFFETT truck mounted forklifts has enabled them to do that,” explains O’Reilly. “By being able to do deliveries at night they are ensuring that the neighbourhood doesn’t even know they are there. But as a consumer, when you go into your store the next day, all the products you have been looking for have been delivered overnight.”

The success of products such as the E-MOFFETT is especially important considering that governments around the world are cracking down on polluting vehicles and industries. Logistics and transport companies will have to be aware of upcoming legislation and take steps to ensure that they are, in effect, future-proof.

“We are fully aware of what legislative changes are coming, and our R&D department is always working on building ever greener solutions,” says O’Reilly. “In Europe, we have Stage 5 emission standards coming in 2020 which will also affect non-road diesel engines across the spectrum, including machines for construction, agriculture, materials handling and industrial use. We are working on solutions for that and already have products that meet those standards. We are constantly evolving our products with the future in mind.”

At a time when the effects of climate change are evident, companies will have to not just think of today, but also look well into the future.

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