UPS to trial range-extended electric vehicle on London operation

UPS has launched its first range-extended electric delivery vehicle for initial trials in the UK, developed in collaboration with TEVVA Motors.

Range-extending technology allows electric vehicles to go further, serving routes that would otherwise be beyond the capability of a conventional electric vehicle.

Since June 2014, UPS has worked with TEVVA Motors to develop a prototype, as part of the global courier’s focus on alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles.

A small, highly-efficient diesel engine acts as a generator to recharge the batteries if they become depleted out on the road. This significantly increases the range of the vehicle, potentially by several hundred kilometres, on top of its normal range of 75km to 100 km without range extension.

“With around 5,800 alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles worldwide, sustainability is more than a practice at UPS, it’s a value. This vehicle highlights our commitment to integrating new technologies into our delivery fleet,” says Peter Harris, sustainability director, UPS Europe. “Finding the best, most responsible fleet solutions to suit our business and serve our customers is an important part of our sustainability strategy.”

Through its rolling laboratory UPS said it is is constantly evaluating and experimenting which alternatives offer a sustainable way of making deliveries in various scenarios, such as urban centres or long-range deliveries.

As people move from rural to urban areas, UPS is looking at ways to reduce vehicles’ contribution to congestion, noise and air pollution. Geo-fencing technology installed in this vehicle means it will operate in a purely electric capacity in urban areas to reduce the impact on air quality. Should additional power to the batteries be required, telemetry technology ensures that the range-extending diesel motor operates where the impact on air quality will be minimal, such as on the motorway.

The range-extended electric vehicle will first be deployed in Barking, East London. It will operate in a suburban environment, covering about 100km to 150km per day. The prototype will initially run for 12 months to assess the potential for the vehicle to be used more widely in UPS operations.

UPS highlighted a number of the sustainable urban logistics inititiatives it has in place in cities across the world in its latest sustainability strategy.


Registration now live for free-of-charge Freight in the City Expo in October

Registration is now live for this autumn’s free-to-attend Freight in the City Expo at London’s Alexandra Palace on Tuesday 27 October.

The event comprises a full seminar programme split into three core zones – Clean; Safe; and Quiet & Efficient – as well as a major exhibition area complete with guided tours.

A top line-up of vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz / FUSO Canter, Daf, Volvo, IsuzuIveco and Dennis Eagle will be showcasing their latest urban vehicle designs, while technology and trailer firms such as Transdek, Paragon and Route Monkey will demonstrate how to enhance existing fleet operations.

Seminars will focus on highlighting best practice examples of getting goods into city centres in a clean, quiet and safe manner, with an impressive line-up of industry experts and academic leaders on hand to highlight successful initiatives taking place across Europe.

The expo is organised by Motor Transport publisher Road Transport Media, which last year hosted the successful Quiet Cities Global Summit at Twickenham Stadium.

It is a must-attend event for anyone involved in procuring, delivering or receiving freight in an urban location.

Registration is free of charge and you can also sign up to receive fortnightly alerts of the latest urban logistics news.

A full list of exhibitors is available to view, along with a floorplan of the event.

Major cities must help freight industry adopt retimed deliveries as congestion levels soar

Major cities must take the lead in helping freight operators adopt retimed deliveries as congestion levels continue to surge.

Following data announced yesterday by INRIX that showed London topped a 25-strong European poll of the most gridlocked cities, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) said it was essential for regional cities to ensure freight was able to flow freely.

Malcom Bingham, head of policy, strategic road network, said congestion was a significant and costly issue for the freight sector, particularly in London. The FTA has calculated that for every minute the largest HGVs are stuck in traffic can cost an operator around £1.

Drivers in London spent an average 96 hours stuck in traffic jams in the capital last year, up 17% on the previous year and racing past second-placed Brussels with an average 74 hours of delays. Those in Greater Manchester wasted 52 hours, while Merseyside and Greater Belfast experienced 37 hours of delays.

Bingham told Freight in the City that regional urban areas must help introduce a package of measures that will allow freight movements to flow freely, such as priority routes and out-of-hours deliveries, which were proven to work successfully during the London 2012 Olympics.

“London’s had the experience and seen the benefits to retiming deliveries, but there are other cities waking up to the fact that this can be an option,” he said. Large cities such as Leeds and Manchester, for example, will be exploring such opportunities.

Buy-in from the entire logistics supply chain is essential to get retiming initiatives up and running, as operators often face a challenge in getting their customers to participate and understand the benefits, as well as operational requirements of ensuring staff are available to receive goods at alternative times.

“The Olympics was a good example,” said Bingham. “Customers realised they would have a problem with their deliveries and were open to change. That’s half the problem, getting customers on board.”

He added it was important for city councils, planners and Local Enterprise Partnerships to assist freight operators by helping to educate their customers. The devolution of transport powers to city regions will also provide an impetus to get new freight initiatives up and running outside of the capital.

“Keeping freight traffic moving is good for the economy and good for the environment,” said Bingham.

The INRIX National Traffic Scorecard Report put the UK in fifth place in the country congestion poll, in which Belgium scooped the top spot, followed by the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg.

Congestion levels rose in more than half (53%) of European cities, which correlated with each country’s economic growth as they began to recover from recession.

A recent study carried out by INRIX and the Centre for Economic Business Research (CEBR) estimated that betwwen 2013 and 2030, the total cumulative cost of congestion to the UK economy would be £307bn, with the annual cost of congestion set to rise by 63% to £21.4bn over the same period.


Sign up online today for Freight in the City expo news

Make sure you sign-up today to receive the latest news and information about the inaugural Freight in the City expo this autumn.

Online expressions of interest are flooding in daily from representatives at local authorities, freight operators, retailers and academic institutions looking to attend the one-day exhibition and seminar programme at London’s Alexandra Palace on 27 October.

A top line-up of vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Daf, Volvo, IsuzuIveco and Dennis Eagle will be showcasing their latest urban vehicle designs, while equipment makers such as Brigade Electronics, Tachodisc and Route Monkey will demonstrate how to enhance existing fleet operations.

Seminars will focus on highlighting best practice examples of getting goods into city centres in a clean, quiet and safe manner, with an impressive line-up of industry experts and academic leaders on hand to highlight successful initiatives taking place across Europe.

The expo is organised by Motor Transport publisher Road Transport Media, which last year hosted the successful Quiet Cities Global Summit at Twickenham Stadium.

Andy Salter, MD at Road Transport Media, said: “For all those involved in this sector, whether as a policy maker, consignor or commercial vehicle operator, it is essential everyone is aware of the implications and future requirements for urban logistics. Freight in the City is a forum to bring all the key stakeholders together to share ideas, information and solutions.”

PIEK updates methods for measuring noise during loading and unloading of goods

An update to the PIEK standards of measurement for peak noise during loading and unloading has been published.

PIEK scheme certification is applied to vehicles and equipment that can operate under 60dB(A) at a distance of 7.5m from the sound source, which makes products suitable for use in night-time deliveries without causing noise disturbance to residents.

Developed in the Netherlands, the PIEK-standard has been adopted in several countries like the UK, France, Germany and Belgium.

The latest update describes measurement methods for determining the peak noise level of various
noise sources occurring during goods delivery, such as:

  • Constant speed, acceleration and braking at low speed for trucks and vans;
  • Doors, hatches, hinged and sliding doors of trailers, bodies and cabs;
  • Tail lifts, body floors and walls of trucks and vans;
  • Shopping trolleys, goods carts, ‘rollies’, dollies and hand pallet trucks;
  • Forklift trucks and mobile forklift trucks;
  • Transport cooling units.

From July this year, only products tested using the new methods will be PIEK certified.

UPS: A Greener Blueprint For City Delivery

Bala Ganesh, senior director of marketing for the US 2020 Team at UPS, blogs about how future logistics models need to adapt to cope with surging city populations.

We need a new model of logistics to ensure those city dwellers get what they want, when they want it – and in a sustainable fashion.

By 2050, two-thirds of all people will live in a city. This means roads will get even more congested. Air quality in those urban areas will likely worsen. And the demand for goods in megacities will further test already strained transportation networks.

In some bigger cities, such problems have already surfaced. There are restrictions on when commercial vehicles can enter city limits. Some do so on even-numbered days. Others get the odd ones. And for many logistics providers, night-time delivery may become a requirement.

It’s not all that different from Ancient Rome, when wagons and carriages were barred from even entering the city during the day.

You certainly couldn’t blame city officials today for looking for ways to mitigate the effects of mass urbanization.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a doomsday scenario.

Forward-looking logistics companies like UPS have started transitioning to a model tailor-made for the cities of tomorrow.

The latest UPS Corporate Sustainability Report showcases how goods can flow freely in environmentally conscious ways, even in the world’s busiest cities.

A big-city twist on the supply chain

Strict travel restrictions in major cities can remove vehicles from the road during rush hour. What they can’t do, however, is convince a customer to receive a package only in the middle of the night.

So how do you create a distribution network that can dispense packages during the daytime without gridlocking an entire city?

The answer is multifaceted. And the solution has to be both economically feasible and environmentally sustainable.

As outlined in the UPS Corporate Sustainability Report, there are a number of ways to limit vehicle emissions and meet the delivery needs of those living in megacities.

Governments, customers and stakeholders all have a role to play in developing more sophisticated transportation systems.

Putting vision into action

For example, in London, where there is a congestion charge zone in the city centre and strict environmental regulations in place, UPS is working with the European Union’s Freight Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (FREVUE) project to transform its delivery network.

There are now 28 electric trucks operating in London, with another 40 expected in the next few years – the ultimate goal is an all-electric fleet in London’s city centre.

Across European cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Hamburg, UPS has nearly 80 electric vehicles meeting the needs of customers.

UPS recently started testing an electrically supported cargo bike for the delivery and pickup of packages in downtown Basel, Switzerland.

Such efforts extend beyond developing alternative modes of transportation.

You might be familiar with UPS Access Point locations, which allow customers to pick up their packages from a central area, such as a convenience store, effectively eliminating failed drop-off attempts – and reducing vehicle emissions.

In partnership with Shell, UPS has rolled out Access Point locations across the globe. These spots act as mini-hubs, enabling drivers to drop off a larger number of packages at once. This can happen during hours with minimal impact on traffic.

Augmenting these services is a growing focus on “final-mile” deliveries. Think of it as a ride-sharing program for packages. Bicycles, push carts and other economically friendly modes of transportation can handle the last leg in a given supply chain, helping delivery trucks avoid the most congested areas in a city.

The rise in urban consumer spending creates a growth opportunity if you make cities more sustainable.

Sustainable teamwork

This is not a task that an individual business, or even a number of the world’s largest companies, can accomplish without help.

Governments, customers and stakeholders all have a role to play in developing more sophisticated transportation systems, capable of fitting seamlessly into a city’s infrastructure.

Our approach is to engage with city officials and provide thought leadership as we work toward collaborative solutions, advocating for the harmonization of regulations so that delivery companies can innovate as efficiently as possible.

The mass migration to cities isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Neither should your work to construct a supply chain flexible enough to meet a city’s demands.

This steady increase in urban consumer spending is a huge opportunity for growth. But that’s only if you make the cities where customers live more sustainable.


CIVITAS urban transport projects focus on clean fuels, reducing impact of freight and tackling city congestion

A series of sustainable urban transport studies will take place as part of the latest phase of the EU co-funded CIVITAS initiative.

CIVITAS – which takes its name from city, vitality and sustainability – was launched in 2002 to help shape transport measures and policies and create cleaner, more efficient transport in cities.

It has helped introduce measures to make urban transport more eco-friendly in more than 60 European metropolitan areas, dubbed ‘demonstration cities’.

Examples include a new traffic control system in Bologna, Italy and a waterborne goods operation in Bremen, Germany.

The EC has now called on CIVITAS to carry out projects in three key areas: transforming the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban areas; reducing the impacts and costs of urban freight; and tackling city congestion.

Around 40 million euros in co-funding has now been granted for 10 chosen projects, with four focusing directly on the urban freight sector. They are:

  • CITYLAB: will support cities and private companies developing new services and business models for improved sustainability and profitability of their logistic activities.
  • NOVELOG: will enable city logistics policy formulation and decision-making as part of the city’s sustainable urban mobility planning, and support implementation and adoption of appropriate measures.
  • SUCCESS: will improve knowledge and understanding of freight distribution and service trips for the construction sector and demonstrate impacts in terms of transport and environmental efficiency.
  • U-TURN: will identify opportunities for collaboration and innovative logistics sharing strategies and showcase their impact and results.

Further details about each scheme are expected to be announced shortly.

The latest phase of the CIVITAS initiative is scheduled to run until 2016, and more cities are encouraged to collaborate with their European counterparts by taking part in the scheme.

Birmingham City is the latest UK member to sign-up, joining 17 other UK local authorities and organisations already on-board with the scheme.

For more information about the projects or how to join the UK network, contact or call 01543 416416.


Toyota Material Handling pallet trucks enable quiet out-of-hours deliveries

Toyota Material Handling has developed a range of quiet delivery products to facilitate out-of-hours goods deliveries in residential areas.

The company said research in the Netherlands has shown night-time deliveries represent a cost-effective way to reduce travel time for delivery vehicles by up to 50% with significant fuel savings and lower CO2 emissions. However, noise can be an issue for deliveries made in residential areas.

Toyota has therefore developed both manual and powered handling products designed to meet European noise legislation.

The BT Lifter Silent hand pallet truck and the BT Levio Silent powered pallet truck wear the Quiet Mark label – an accreditation developed by the Noise Abatement Society to reduce noise pollution from equipment and to encourage global companies to develop silent products that improve the quality of everyday life.

Designed with shock-absorbing technology that reduces vibration noise, the BT Lifter Silent hand pallet truck is a powerful, yet quiet tool. It has an operating noise of no more than 60dB, 20% lower than a standard hand pallet truck, according to the manufacturer.

The BT Levio Silent powered pallet truck has the same operating capacity, performance and durability as the standard product, but with additional features that make it more silent in handling.


Industry experts and top academics to speak at Freight in the City Expo

Industry experts and top academics heading up successful urban logistics projects from across Europe will be speaking at the inaugural Freight in the City Expo this autumn.

Driving down harmful emissions will be the focus of seminars in the ‘Clean’ arena, asking how far national governments and local authorities have to go to achieve acceptable levels of air quality. Speakers will explore viable alternative fuels for commercial vehicles, whether low-emission zones can be an affective tool, and how you can improve your CSR rating and prove its credentials with the correct practices.

Delegates interested in making freight deliveries safer in their city centres for all road users can find out which equipment really works on their fleets, how to ensure your vehicles and drivers are fully compliant with the latest regulations, such as London’s Safer Lorry Scheme, and learn how town design and infrastructure can improve shared road space.

Finally, those visitors attending the ‘Quiet & Efficient’ seminars will hear experts exploring what the cities of the future will expect from urban freight movements and how they will cope with increasing demand for home deliveries and the growing convenience store trend. Consolidation, last-mile deliveries by low-emission vehicles and out-of-hours operations are likely to increase, but find out which one will work best for your city.

The Freight in the City Expo takes place on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace. Register now to receive updates and the latest urban freight news.

Updated Vector 1350 trailer refrigeration unit offers more power at lower noise levels

Carrier Transicold has launched a quieter, yet more powerful Vector 1350 trailer refrigeration unit.

The new Vector provides 13,100 watts of refrigeration capacity for the transportation of perishable goods, while the manufacturer said its lighter weight of 643kg will enable hauliers to carry larger payloads.

Noise levels emitted from the unit have been lowered to just 69 decibels, which Carrier Transicold said will provide greater comfort for drivers and less noise for residents during urban deliveries.

Trials of the new 1.1-litre engine have also shown it to reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% compared with its predecessor, according to the manufacturer. The engine drives both a compressor and a generator to power the ventilation system, while three electric fans significantly improve system reliability. By using a microchannel condenser coil, the Vector 1350 unit also requires about 27% less refrigerant than its predecessor.

A new, user-friendly control interface for operators has been designed, including dedicated buttons and universal symbols that are easy for drivers to understand, regardless of language. Carrier Transicold said this can help prevent costly mistakes when choosing the proper temperature settings inside the trailer.