What is green logistics? This question is asked frequently. There are a lot of companies decorating themselves with this attribute without any substance to back it up. However, Green logistics, or ecologically sustainable logistics, shouldn't be just a slogan because green logistics means responsibility to ourselves, to the environment and to our children.
Green Logistics are interlocking efforts in logistics companies to create logistical processes that are more environmentally friendly and resource-efficient. It therefore means environmental responsibility and economic optimisation. Green logistics comprises a large number of small measures that add up to making a big difference. The reduction of CO2 emissions is a good example of a target.
To achieve this, IMPEX always leverages the latest technologies in the lorry sector. In 2013, before it became compulsory, we already began upgrading our vehicles to the Euro 6 standard, which has considerably higher emission standards. Our vehicles have been equipped with AdBlue to reduce the CO2 emissions for a long time already.
Today, our vehicles are authorised to enter all environmental zones in German cities.
Our high-quality fleet consists of Mercedes vehicles only. In September 2013 the Mercedes Benz Actros New 1845 (MP4) was awarded the Green Truck label for first place in a ranking of the most environmentally friendly tractor units. It actually almost goes without saying that IMPEX was among the first to receive the first deliveries of the New Actros (MP4) and in Schleswig Holstein we were the first haulage company at the time to call the first New Actros (MP4) our own.
The Green Truck environmental assessment primarily checks fuel consumption and thus the vehicles' greenhouse gas emissions. The Euro pollutant classes as well as factors such as maximum payload or load volume are also taken into consideration. The environmental assessment also takes into consideration profitability and efficiency aspects.
Consumption and CO2 emissions are linearly related. Using the NEW Actros (MP4), we can save an additional 3-5% on fuel compared to the previous model which was already quite economical. The vehicle itself provides the driver with tips on the Fleetboard system so that handling is improved.
Our top-notch vehicles are all equipped with aerodynamic kits such as aerodynamic wind deflectors on the roof, end flaps and side trim for the lowest possible drag and reduced fuel consumption. With these measures we have reduced fuel consumption to an average of less than 26 litres for 100 kilometres. This benefits the environment greatly.
The residual heat of the engine is used to heat the driver cabin, once again saving IMPEX fuel without compromising the comfort of our drivers.
A tyre pressure monitoring system continuously monitors tyre pressure because low tyre pressure means more fuel consumption due to higher rolling drag. Excessive tyre pressure, however, causes the tyres to wear faster. Here, resource conservation is also key. Where possible, we use low-resistance tyres that exhibit lower rolling resistance.
Our new semi-trailers are equipped with a complete cladding. That means the semi-trailer also has cladding between the wheels to optimise aerodynamics and reduce diesel consumption. The refrigerator units on refrigerated vehicles are equipped with an automatic start-stop system.
We conduct regular driver training courses to train for fuel-efficient and resource-efficient driving. We use the FleetBoard system for training and monitoring consumption. Using FleetBoard we can determine moving and stationary fuel consumption in a way that takes into consideration environmental conditions and the loaded weight. The system detects areas in which the driver can improve his driving and provides tips through the driver information system as well as in monthly reports that outline how to take advantage of, for example, the momentum of the lorry or how the engine brake (retarder) should be used. Our drivers secure bonuses for maintaining an economical driving style.
Our vehicles are also equipped with Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC). The lorry is able to adjust the behaviour of the engine and the transmission to the terrain as it can virtually see what is coming up, including falling and rising gradients. The fusion of sensor data with information from a navigation system that knows the topography of the terrain provides the technical basis for these "clairvoyant" skills. What this means is: Since our lorries know the route profile exactly, the drive control system can switch gears at the right moments, engage or disengage the throttle to arrive quickly at your destination in the most fuel-efficient manner possible. This method saves another 3% in fuel consumption. With a lorry's "EcoRoll" function the vehicle coasts downhill without engine power, thereby accelerating by its own weight so that it takes the momentum gained to the next uphill gradient; all this is performed automatically. And before ascending the next summit, the lorry already reduces the throttle by itself so that it doesn't need to apply the breaks (or apply them less) in the next downhill gradient.
Only by combining modern technology with well trained drivers will we be able to achieve resource-efficient transport for a green environment.