Manchester geared up for lively debate at tomorrow’s Freight in the City Spring Summit

Manchester Central is poised for the arrival of hundreds of delegates heading to the Freight in the City Spring Summit: Driving Growth in the North event tomorrow.

This free-to-attend summit will be taking the debate on sustainable urban logistics out of London and into the major cities of the Northern Powerhouse region: Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

An exciting line-up of speakers will be looking at future growth plans for the region and the role the freight sector needs to play in unlocking this potential, as well as drawing upon lessons learned in London on how collaboration between logistics companies and city officials can help ensure HGV movements in urban areas are safer, cleaner and more efficient.

There will also be an exhibition highlighting the very latest equipment and services for logistics firms to make their urban operations run smoothly, as well as some of the industry’s safer vehicles on display outside the venue, including: a Mercedes-Benz Econic operated by builders’ merchant group Travis Perkins; the latest fixed-deck urban box van from Cartwright Group; and a Daf LF180 12-tonner fitted with additional passenger door window along with a Daf FAD CF hookloader with lowered suspension to enable better driver visibility.

Nearly 500 people have registered to attend tomorrow’s free event, so don’t delay in booking your place there’s still time.

The next Freight in the City Expo is scheduled to take place at London’s Alexandra Palace in November, so make sure you sign up to our free fortnightly newsletter to find out the latest urban logistics news and event updates.


Manchester launches ECO Stars programme to boost city’s carbon-reduction target

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has launched a new ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme this month to help operators improve environmental performance and drive down running costs.

The scheme will help TfGM in its aim to halve carbon emissions across the city region within the next four years.

ECO Stars is a free, voluntary scheme providing recognition and support on reducing fuel costs and environmental best practice to operators.

Upon joining the scheme, operators are given a star rating out of five, with personal guidance on how to improve upon this initial score and drive further efficiencies in their fleet operations.

TfGM head of logistics and environment, Helen Smith, said: “We’re working very hard with our partners to improve Manchester’s air quality and taking part in the scheme helps the city on its way to reducing its carbon emissions by 48% by 2020.”

The scheme launched this month and hopes to work with operators in pollution hotspots in Greater Manchester, such as Trafford Park.

Many major operators in the area have already signed up, including retailers Nisa and Superdrug.

ECO Stars is being managed on behalf of TfGM by transport consultant Transport and Travel Research (TTR).

Morag White, TTR deputy programme manager for ECO Stars, added: “The scheme is free to sign up to, the process is simple and by following our advice, businesses could improve their fuel efficiency by up to 5%.

“We hope that Manchester’s fleet operators, whether one-man bands or larger operators, will take full advantage of this opportunity to make a difference to both their bottom line and their local environment.”

The Resources Group brings training expertise to Freight in the City Summit

The Resources Group will be taking part in next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit, talking to delegates about the importance of specialist training for commercial vehicle drivers.

Providing a seven-day-a-week national training service for operators, The Resources Group offers a selection of professional driving courses for fleet operators.

Some of its more popular courses include on-the-road Driver CPC training and licence acquisition training.

Emergency First Aid for Drivers training is also growing in popularity among fleet operators, according to group commercial manager Nicola Howes.

“We have received great feedback from drivers who have undertaken this course. With the increasing number of HGVs on the road, a driver can often be the first person at the scene of an accident.

“This course focuses on providing drivers with basic lifesaving first aid skills, to prevent medical situations from worsening, prior to the arrival of emergency services,” Howes said.

She added that the course is also Qualsafe and Driver CPC accredited. “Not only are drivers gaining a highly desirable life skill, but they will also achieve seven hours towards the next DCPC deadline,” said Howes.

The Resources Group has recently been selected by builders’ merchant group Travis Perkins to run Fors Safe Urban Driving courses for it.

Travis Perkins will also be taking part in Freight in the City and displaying its latest Mercedes-Benz Econic truck, one of four new Econics joining the business to boost safey in urban areas.

  • Freight in the City takes place on 3 March at Manchester Central. It is a free-to-attend one-day event focusing on driving sustainable freight movements across the Northern Powerhouse region. Book your place today!


ECO Stars expands as northen cities raise their profile

Growth in towns and cities in the North is prompting both public and private fleet operators to explore schemes such as ECO Stars Fleet Recognition in an effort to boost operational sustainability.

Jim Chappell (pictured), freight and fleet divisional manager at Transport & Travel Research, which heads up the ECO Stars scheme said: “We are seeing a direct correlation between ECO Stars’ expansion and the growth and the rise in profile of cities and wider urban areas in the North.

“As urban centres grow they need schemes such as ECO Stars, which deliver positive interventions to reduce environmental impact and give operators an opportunity to review their operations against industry best practice.”

Chappell will be taking part in a panel debate at next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit in Manchester that will discuss the importance of collaboration between public and private sectors to drive cleaner, safer, more efficient freight movements across urban areas.

He told Freightinthecity that local authorities could take the lead in driving collaborative fleet efficiency by first analysing their own community fleets and those of their supply chain: “Efficiencies in these areas will always be advantageous to the local authority, the contracted operator, and the wider community.”

Commercial fleet operators would also greatly benefit from working closely with local authorities and establishing a positive relationship with the relevant teams at the council.

Chappell explained: “The greater the co-operation, the greater the holistic benefit. If there is a positive relationship, activities such as those with an infrastructure implication (for example temporary rerouting or installation of electric charging points) can be discussed from a starting point of a positive relationship.

“This also applies to contracts between local authorities and commercial operators where cleaner operations are preferred, as there could be procurement considerations,” he added.

Freight in the City takes place at Manchester Central on 3 March and is a free-to-attend one-day event designed to explore opportunities for sustainable freight as part of the government’s Northern Powerhouse investment strategy. Why not sign up today!

Freight in the City delegates can take free trial of GreenRoad’s driver behaviour app

Fleet operators heading to next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit will be offered a free trial of GreenRoad Technologies’ real-time driver behaviour mobile app.

GreenRoad Mobile enables both drivers and fleet managers to assess driving behaviour and receive instant coaching to correct any concerns, as well as displaying vehicle tracking, maintenance and fuel usage optimisation data.

David Rodriguez, SVP marketing, GreenRoad Technologies, is confident that fleet operators at the summit, who take advantage of the free 60-day trial, will be delighted with the end results.

“GreenRoad Mobile is changing the way safety and fleet managers drive positive, sustainable change in their organisations,” he said. “It combines a flexible platform that allows customers to access core driver behaviour analytics with GreenRoad’s performance management experts who have extensive driver safety and fleet management experience.

Rodriguez added: “We are pleased to be able to provide this market-leading technology free of charge to attendees at next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit. We hope that as many businesses as possible take full advantage of this rare opportunity and see for themselves the incredible benefits this mobile application can bring to a business and its workforce.”

The Freight in the City Spring Summit will explore how the freight and logistics industry can work with the public and private sectors to drive economic growth in the North of England.

It will feature a top line-up of key industry figures through a series of seminars, interactive workshops and panel debates.

GreenRoad’s UK director of sales Chris Horbowyj will be a panellist on a debate into the future of urban trucks and transport. The session will discuss how the manufacturers of trucks, trailers and technology are leading the way and meeting the challenges of delivering in the urban environment.

The panel will debate how policy-makers can work with OEMs, and vice-versa, to incentivise better development and encourage the adoption of cleaner, safer and more efficient technologies.

Freight in the City takes place at Manchester Central on 3 March. Register now for your free place to attend.

FTA: Multimodal strategy is key to connectivity in the north

The FTA has said a strong focus on multimodal infrastructure is vital in the development of a new freight strategy for the north of England.

Plans are currently well underway in the creation of the new freight vision for the Northern Powerhouse region by Transport for the North, which last month brought together industry stakeholders to gain feedback on its work to date.

FTA head of policy for the north Malcolm Bingham said: “It is important for our members that freight and logistics have a say in the development of freight routes in the approach taken by the Northern Powerhouse.”

He added: “The freight and logistics strategy currently being developed by Transport for the North is at an important stage which shows there is a need to improve a multimodal approach – road, rail and water – on east-west routes connecting ports to the economic centres of the north of England.”

Bingham will be taking part in a topical debate about the infrastructure needs for the freight sector at the Freight in the City Spring Summit at Manchester Central on 3 March.

The free-to-attend event will focus on what the government’s strategy for creating a Northern Powerhouse means for the freight industry and its customers. It will also examine how local government and city region authorities can benefit from including freight strategies in their growth plans.

Delegates at Freight in the City will also be able to find out more about the Transport for the North freight strategy from the author of the report Chris Rowland, MD at MDS Transmodal.

Make sure you register today to join 300 of your industry peers at this must-attend event.




Travis Perkins Group to display latest safety truck at Freight in the City Spring Summit

Travis Perkins Group will be supporting Freight in the City Spring Summit next month in Manchester by bringing along its latest safety truck to show visitors.

The builders’ merchant group, itself a Fors gold member and Clocs champion, has recently demonstrated its commitment to safer haulage with the purchase of four 6×2 Mercedes-Benz Econics.

While the low-entry, improved visibility Econics have already been used for tipper and municipal operations, the Travis Perkins trucks are the first to be used for urban distribution duties.

As well as the low cab, the trucks’ specification includes a full complement of external mirrors, a five-camera CCTV system (one each end and each side, and one inside the body), a side-scan proximity detector and an audible left-turn warning.

The first two are already in service with the group’s CCF subsidiary, which specialises in interior building products, and are fitted with curtainside bodywork (pictured) and carry a Moffett Mounty.

A further two are due for delivery shortly: one in subsidiary Keyline’s blue livery, which will be on display at Freight in the City in Manchester; and one in the parent company’s livery. Both will have drop-side bodywork and Hiab cranes fitted.

All four, and any future examples, will be reserved solely for operations within London.

Although the initially estimated cost premium over a comparable traditional truck was £35,000 each, this eventually settled at £21,000, funded from the regular transport budget.

Ron Searle, Travis Perkins head of group transport risk and compliance, reckons it’s a price worth paying to make the roads safer, and expects the premium to fall as volumes increase.

  • Make sure to book your free place at next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit on 3 March at Manchester Central to find out the latest advancements in clean, safe city distribution equipment.


ECO Stars collaboration helps JG Pears save costs and reduce carbon footprint

Animal by-product renderer JG Pears has slashed both costs and its carbon footprint since joining the ECO Stars Fleet Recognition Scheme.

Following advice given on improving the efficiency of its fleet, the Nottingham business has seen insurance premiums drop by £80,000, mpg improve by around 10% and carbon impact lowered by 8%.

The business works from three depots in Nottingham and Yorkshire and operates a fleet of 35 HGVs and 200 trailers with an average annual mileage per vehicle of 285,000km.

Following an assessment carried out by ECO Stars upon first joining the scheme, JG Pears was initially awarded a four-star rating out of a maximum five stars.

Group logistics manager Andrew Bostock (pictured) was delighted: “I joined the company the previous year and we had made some significant changes in the way we worked and so I was pleased to get a very respectable rating. It highlightedJG-Pears-Andrew there was still much that could be done to get the most out of the assets we had.”

He added that it was good to receive external recognition of the work already achieved, together with a realistic view of further steps to take.

Following the assessment a ‘roadmap’ was produced for the business that listed key actions to be considered.

ECO Stars encouraged the company to examine the most efficient vehicle was being used for the job.

As a result, 20 new aerodynamic trailers were purchased, as well as a shift towards Euro-6 models on the tractor fleet.

During 2014, the JG Pears fleet of Euro-5 vehicles returned an average of 8.4mpg. The fleet now operates at an average of 9.7mpg, largely due to the introduction of 16 Euro-6 trucks in 2015. A further four Euro-5 trucks are also shortly due for renewal with Euro-6 models.

Better use of telematics to manage performance was also instigated, which included the launch of a driver league table to motivate employees. This in turn enabled the business to enhance its driver training strategy.

One year after joining ECO Stars, JG Pears was re-assessed and was awarded a five-star rating for the work it had achieved.

Brigade Electronics: road safety is key in the north as logistics activity expands

Brigade Electronics has said ensuring the safety of both HGV drivers and vulnerable road users will increasingly be a top priority for cities in the North of England as economic activity grows.

The safety systems firm was speaking ahead of its participation in next month’s Freight in the City Spring Summit in Manchester, which will be taking the urban logistics debate out of London to the northern powerhouse region.

Emily Hardy, UK marketing manager, told Freightinthcity: “With the government’s planned investment in the northern regions of the UK, we can expect to see an increase in the number of construction and logistics vehicles on the roads, meaning we need to assess and ensure the safety of all drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

This year sees Brigade celebrating 40 years’ experience in developing technology to tackle the ever-increasing challenges of urban deliveries.

“Freight in the City and Brigade are very much aligned with regards to their clean, safe and quiet strategies,”Hardy explained.

“All of Brigade’s products fulfil one or more of these desirables. In particular, our white sound reversing alarms – awarded the Quiet Mark and endorsed by the Noise Abatement Society – are perfectly suited for night-time deliveries with the ability to adjust to ambient sound. While our range of camera monitor systems and ultrasonic sensor systems work in collaboration to eliminate blind spots,” she added.

Brigade Electronics will be on hand at Freight in the City Spring Summit in Manchester to demonstrate its latest product range, such as the Backeye360 (see below),  and talk about how your fleet could be kitted out according to your operational needs.

Daf excited about bringing urban logistics debate to the North

Daf is keen to see the debate about urban logistics move away from London to the North at next month’s Freight in the City Summit in Manchester.

Phil Moon, marketing director at Daf UK, said: “The challenges in this area do differ from those in London with operators much more reliant on motorways and A-roads to interconnect towns and cities along the M62 corridor.”

In terms of vehicle choice for urban distribution, the manufacturer said flexibility is the key to handle a range of operational conditions, as many operators may not be able to afford the exclusivity of a dedicated city vehicle.

“So they still need a vehicle that is equally at home on the motorway and can deliver efficiently over a long range with nationwide back-up when it’s needed,” Moon added.

Fleet efficiency is also a vital area to explore before making procurement decisions.

Moon said for some operators there may be a belief that urban distribution is best served by smaller models, however this could lead to more vehicles on the road, increasing the cost and environmental impact per delivery and adding to city congestion levels.

“Enabling larger vehicles to operate safely and efficiently in the urban environment should be the aim, along with consolidation of loads wherever possible to minimise the number of vehicles serving any area of the city,” he added.

At Freight in the City on 3 March, Daf will be bringing along one of its latest urban distribution vehicles, a 12-tonne LF180 rigid from local dealer F&G Commercials Manchester.

The manufacturer said that for many operators, the LF is “the ultimate urban distribution vehicle”.

Available from 7.5 tonnes- to 18-tonnes GVW, it is designed to have excellent manoeuvrability with a tight turning circle, easy cab access and a high payload.

Moon said: “At 12-tonnes GVW, the LF is a particularly urban friendly vehicle. With a low chassis mounted on 17.5” wheels, the vehicle affords the driver good visibility, easy cab access and a low loading height, but with a generous body and payload allowance of 8.5 tonnes. This is one of the reasons that some operators who would have previously taken a 7.5-tonnes GVW vehicle are moving up to the 12-tonne LF.

“The LF at 7.5 tonnes is also available with a Silent Mode, enabling the vehicle to meet the Quiet Truck standard which in some European Cities enables the vehicle to operate through the night to avoid periods of peak congestion,” he added.

Silent Mode is currently offered on a range of CF and XF configurations powered by the MX-11 engine, as well as the LF at 7.5 tonnes GVW.