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FRANKFURT: DB Schenker has ordered 1,500 zero emission, 16-ton Volta Trucks with a range up to 200 kms. to deliver goods from European distribution hubs to city centres and urban areas.

The first prototypes will be used by the company at 10 locations in five countries from Spring 2022.

The test results will be incorporated into the serial production of 1,470 vehicles to be built at Volta Trucks manufacturing facility in Steyr, Austria.

“We have many challenges to overcome on the road to carbon neutrality,” said DB Schenker EVP Land Transport Europe Cyrille Bonjean. “The large-scale partnership with Volta Trucks allows us to significantly increase the pace of electrification of our fleet and invest in greener transport solutions, brings us closer again to our goal of carbon neutral logistics.”

The new order adds to an existing book of 2,500 units valued at €600 million. The company says it plans to build four Volta Zero models for European and US markets and expects sales to reach 27,000 units by 2025.

Essa Al-Saleh, Volta Trucks CEO and former head of Agility Global Integrated Logistics commented: “Working with DB Schenker on Europe’s largest full-electric truck order demonstrates the confidence that major freight distributors have in our ability to deliver a world-class zero-emission vehicle on time and to the highest possible quality.”

The two companies will also develop specifications for a 12-ton Volta Zero variant, conducting site testing to accelerate vehicle deployment of vehicles and train drivers.

Last year supply chain services provider Agility became an investor in Volta Trucks, participating in a Series B investment round of €37 million that also included Luxor Capital, Proterra and original seed investor Byggmästare Anders J Ahlström.

In a related development, DHL Express has begun operating a hydrogen-powered truck covering 200 kms. a day throughout the Benelux on behalf of Apple. The company says the goal is to develop heavy-duty vehicles powered by hydrogen for logistics operations in different regions.

OSLO: Norwegian fertilizer producer Yara International has completed the maiden voyage of its first electric-powered container ship Yara Birkeland as part of a two-year, NOK133.5 million programme to certify it as an autonomous vessel.

Yara has also begun the development of green ammonia as an emission-free fuel for shipping according to Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, CEO of Yara Clean Ammonia (YCA).

Supported by 17 production units, 11 ships and 18 ammonia terminals worldwide, YCA expects both blue and green gas forms to become a next-generation fuel.

Blue ammonia is derived from blue hydrogen, produced via natural gas with the resultant CO2 stored in permanent reservoirs after a carbon capture. Green ammonia is produced carbon-free by using green hydrogen based upon renewable energy.

"As the world's largest producer of ammonia, Yara has launched an offensive plan of international scale, both to remove current emissions and to establish the production of new, clean ammonia," commented Ankarstrand.

Global ammonia production represents two percent of the world's fossil energy consumption or 1.2 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.

The new vessel will carry mineral fertilizer produced at Yara’s Porsgrunn plant via the Norwegian ports of Brevik and Larvik – replacing 40,000 trucks and cutting CO2 emissions by 1,000 tonnes a year.

At COP26 this month Yara announced it was joining the First Movers Coalition to create early markets for technologies needed to achieve net-zero by 2050.

The International Energy Agency says roughly half of the reductions to reach net-zero emissions must come from technologies that are not yet available commercially. So the Coalition will focus on eight sectors: steel, trucking, shipping, aviation, cement, aluminum, chemicals and direct air capture.

In addition to Yara, the coalition founding members are A.P. Møller – Mærsk, Aker ASA, Agility, Airbus, Amazon, Apple, Bain & Company, Bank of America, Boston Consulting Group, Boeing, Cemex, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, Delta Air Lines, Deutsche Post DHL Group, ENGIE, Fortescue Metals Group, Holcim, Invenergy, Johnson Controls, Mahindra Group, Nokia, Ørsted, ReNew Power, Salesforce, Scania, SSAB, Trafigura, Trane Technologies, United Airlines, Vattenfall, Volvo Group, Western Digital and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.

Yara Birkeland is the result of a collaboration between marine engineering and construction group Vard, Norwegian government-backed fund Enova and technology supplied by the Kongsberg Group in a joint venture with Wilhelmsen.
ENGELBERG, CH: Peter Somaglia is a logistics executive and co-founder of the Swiss-based emissions calculator service CarbonCare. Despite the increasing use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), lightweight ULDs, digital airwaybills, carbon offset programmes and aircraft fleet renewals, he’s not convinced the air cargo sector is fully onboard with Sustainability - beyond the need to ‘sustain’ profits:

As government regulations evolve and public support to fight climate change increases, the logistics and transportation industry is looking for new strategies to offset the negative impact on the environment. All together, the industry is the second largest culprit in terms of CO2 emissions (24 percent) after Energy and Heating according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Only 2.8 percent of global emissions are coming from air transport with air cargo accounting for 0.7 percent. Even if such figures are lower than you would expect, they still have a strong impact on the environment, and in the last few years air cargo players have been committed to reduce it with the orchestration of a variety of measures.

However I think we are only at the beginning, not only in air cargo, but in the whole logistics and transportation industry. Governments and businesses worldwide have just started to take sustainability seriously. I expect the ‘wave’ to become really tangible in the next few years.

The IEA has forecast that global logistics will have the largest share of CO2 emissions by 2050 (40 percent) if we do not take corrective measures.

Regardless the provisions set by international agreements like the Kyoto Protocol (1997) and the Paris Agreement (2015), the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere keeps rising - which will have catastrophic consequences.

The precondition for improvement is an effective, realistic measurement of your footprint. Measurements do not reduce emissions of course, but they allow you to take the right counteractions to reduce the impact.

Of course transparency is also key if we want to make some progress. Some logistics companies are now integrating CO2 calculators on their websites and even including CO2 production measurements in their annual reports.

Our customer’s carbon offset is certified by Swiss non-profit organization myClimate, one of the leading environment protection organisations. Through the offset mechanism, myClimate finances the additional costs that arise, for example, when renewable energy sources are used instead of fossil fuels. This price depends on the scope of the project, the technology used and the country in which the project is carried out.

The funds are primarily used in developing and newly industrializing countries to replace fossil energy sources that are harmful to the climate with renewable energy sources or to implement energy-efficient measures. In this way, the same amount of climate-impacting emissions is ‘compensated’.

Besides air cargo, CarbonCare can be used for road, rail, sea and inland waterways, and the calculation method (based on the EN16258 standard) also includes emissions from cargo handling and transportation of cool cargo.

So its added value is almost unique as a logistics and transportation calculator, including the energy mixes from different countries for rail transport. In the case of air cargo, for example, the footprint of a shipment can be calculated door-to-door, not just airport-to-airport.

In order to promote CarbonCare on a global scale, we are partnering with companies that share our values and long-term visions for the industry. IT solutions provider Cargo Start’s strong focus on innovation makes it the ideal partner in the Italian market. In fact, its experts are not only reselling our tool, but they can also provide support when it comes to sustainability related matters.

I believe sustainability goes hand in hand with innovation, not only in the air cargo industry but in general. Innovation is the key to find new technologies that will help us achieve the common goal of making sustainability the new standard.


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