Last chance to book your free place at Freight in the City Spring Summit

Freight in the City Spring Summit is now only a few days away and promises to be a must-attend networking opportunity for anybody interested in improving last-mile deliveries in towns and cities.

More than 500 visitors from across the public and private sector have signed up to attend the one-day conference and exhibition on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

Speakers from the UK and mainland Europe will be leading the debate on better ways to handle urban deliveries, while the exhibition will bring you the very latest vehicles, equipment and services for city fleets.

Doors open at 8.15, with a delicious bacon or egg roll waiting for you courtesy of Mercedes-Benz and Fuso Trucks UK, so make sure you get there early to look around the exhibition.

Freight in the City Spring Summit ‘Improving the last mile’ is supported by the Urban Transport Group, Transport for West Midlands, Mercedes-Benz and Fuso Trucks UK.

There is still time to reserve your free place to attend, so make sure you do so today, and we’ll look forward to welcoming you next week!




Leeds council to explore impact of diesel-powered refrigeration units on air quality

Leeds City Council is to investigate the impact on air quality that diesel-powered transport refrigeration units (TRUs) have on its urban areas.

Working with clean, cold technology firm Dearman, the council has been awarded a £150,000 Defra grant to identify the level of harmful emissions from TRUS and encourage uptake of cleaner alternatives.

TRUs are typically used by supermarkets and logistics operators to keep food produce cold while in transit. The cold is often powered by a second diesel engine, with an estimated 84,000 TRUs on Britain’s roads.

Dearman estimates that over the course of a year, a TRU powered by a secondary diesel engine can emit up to six times as much nitrogen oxide (NOx) and almost 30 times as much particulate matter (PM) as a Euro-6 HGV engine.

In Leeds, it is estimated that TRUs emit 71 tonnes of nitrogen oxide and 9.5 tonnes of particulate matter per year.

Replacing Leeds’ diesel-powered TRUs with zero-emission alternatives would be the NOx equivalent of removing 2,446 Euro-6 HGVs from the roads, and the PM equivalent of removing 13,024 HGVs, according to Dearman.

The project

Leeds will use the funding to measure emissions from conventional fossil-fuelled TRUs in real-life operations, estimate the number of refrigerated vehicles in use and understand typical duty cycles.

Findings will be analysed with an evidence base established and tools developed for helping reduce the impact of TRUs on local air quality.

The council will  look to install the supporting refuelling infrastructure to enable a multi-vehicle field trial of a zero-emission liquid-nitrogen-powered cooling system developed by Dearman. 

It is hoped this will also add to encourage wider uptake of the technology.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council, said: “Reducing pollution from refrigeration units in the city could see a significant improvement to our air quality.

“This project could lead to significant improvements, not just on Leeds roads, but those around the country.”

Dearman deputy chief executive Michael Ayres added: “We have developed a patented zero-emission engine, currently undergoing advanced road trials, which would significantly cut emissions compared to polluting diesel engines.

“In Leeds and around the country, there are growing calls for tighter regulation of transport refrigeration units. This means the industry needs to start preparing and this is where Dearman can help.”


Check out the latest speakers signed up to Freight in the City Birmingham on 1 March

More than 300 visitors have now registered to attend Freight in the City Spring Summit ‘Improving the last mile’ on 1 March in Birmingham.

The seminar programme is now confirmed with a strong line-up of speakers bringing together city officials and the logistics sector to promote sustainable urban freight movements.

Latest speakers joining the programme include RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding, presenting brand-new research investigating whether the surge in van traffic is the result of the online-shopping boom.

The research asks whether e-commerce is adding to congestion or actually reducing it as people do their buying from the comfort of their sofas rather than driving to the store?

Carrier Transicold’s Scott Dargan will examine the legislative changes related to the urban distribution of perishable produce and how transport refrigeration system manufacturers are rising to this challenge.

This will include insight into some of the latest and next-generation technologies which will help to minimise environmental impact, including the use of refrigerants with a lower global warming potential, alternative-fuel-powered refrigeration systems and engineless solutions.

You’ll also hear from Transport Systems Catapult about the importance of keeping pace with the latest data and technology developments bringing more efficiency to urban logistics.

“When we speak of the future innovations in freight logistics for urban areas, we mean the next few months rather than years; change is happening now, today,” said Andrew Traill, principal technologist, Transport Systems Catapult.

“If we want to prosper economically and if we want to resolve the challenges of urban growth and development, we have to embrace this change; and not just embrace and follow but, where we have expertise, we should also lead the way.”

Freight in the City Spring Summit is an ideal opportunity to network with your peers and make important new business connections, so why not take a look through the variety of organisations already registered to take part.

There will also be an exhibition of the latest equipment and services to make your city logistics operation run smoothly, as well as a small outdoor urban vehicle display area.

The event takes place on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. Make sure you reserve your free place to attend today!

Registration open for Freight in the City Birmingham on 1 March

Registrations have now opened for the ‘Freight in the City Spring Summit: Improving the last mile’ on 1 March at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham.

This free-to-attend summit will focus on the need to think differently about how cities, businesses and operators approach last-mile deliveries to reduce freight’s impact on urban areas.

You’ll hear from major cities such as Birmingham, Manchester and Southampton about the challenges they’ve faced to mitigate the impact of essential goods deliveries to businesses and residents in urban areas.

These include mandated clean air zones that need to be in place by 2020, as well as a need to reduce conflict between goods vehicles and vulnerable users, and finding ways to tackle congestion on key routes into and around cities.

Leading researcher Laetitia Dablanc will share urban logistics best practice across Europe, complemented by seminars from major operators such as UPS and Meachers Global Logistics on their work to make inner city deliveries more sustainable.

Delegates will also take a look at some of the latest technology and delivery methods emerging to the marketplace, as well as the potential of modal switch to water, rail or bicycle for relieving pressure on the roads network.

There will also be the opportunity to ask questions via a lively panel debate on the challenge of persuading consumers to accept more sustainable methods of receiving their online purchases.

“This really is a must-attend event for local authorities, businesses and freight operators to learn from their peers about more sustainable ways to handle last-mile deliveries, demonstrating how cities and industry have worked collaboratively to ensure freight journeys are cleaner, safer and quieter,” said Hayley Pink, Freight in the City editor.

The spring summit is supported by the Urban Transport Group (UTG) and Transport for West Midlands.

Jonathan Bray, UTG director, said: “Getting last-mile logistics right forms part of a much wider debate about what kind of cities we want to live in and how we want them to look and feel.

“This conference presents a great opportunity to explore innovative solutions that enable last-mile journeys to be completed as safely, unobtrusively and with as little environmental impact as possible.”

  • Reserve your place now and browse through the speakers and exhibitors taking part, or to check out the organisations already signed up to attend.

£35m funding pot for low-carbon vehicle propulsion or light-weight technology

Alternative propulsion, lightweight vehicles and energy storage are key focus areas for the government’s latest round of Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) competition funding.

Up to £35m in collaborative research and development funding is available through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

Grant-funded projects must develop technology that leads to significant reductions in vehicle CO2 or other emissions and help develop the UK’s supply chain capability in low-carbon vehicle propulsion or light-weight systems technology.

Projects must demonstrate the development of technologies based around one or more of the following technology areas:

  • Thermal propulsion systems
  • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures
  • Electric machines and power electronics
  • Energy storage and energy management
  • Alternative propulsion systems

Projects will range in size from total costs of £5m to £40m and should last between 18 and 42 months.

Collaboration is essential and partnerships must include at least one vehicle manufacturer and/or a major supplier as part of the consortium, and at least one SME partner.

Registrations must be received by 29 March, with applications in by 5 April.


Rapid charging for electric CVs with heavy duty cycles on trial

The DfT has allocated £2.2m funding to a project developing ultra high-speed and movable charging technology for commercial vehicles under its £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial.

Tech firm Zapinamo is working with the University of Warwick’s research department WMG to deliver rapid charging capability that can meet the demands of electric CVs with long and demanding duty cycles.

Zapinamo said the technology represents a “step change” in how commercial vehicles are charged.

The technology uses on/off grid and renewable sources for electric vehicle charging and is capable of delivering more than 400kW to charge a vehicle in minutes.

The freight and delivery trials will be carried out by Zapinamo and WMG, supported by vehicle manufacturer Iveco and London-based organic food grocer Farmdrop.

A raid charging facility will be installed for Farmdrop’s fleet of 20 zero-emission electric vans based at the operator’s Bermondsey, south London depot.

Tim Martin, Zapinamo CEO said the project represented a “significant step” towards air quality improvement.

“Our technology is a global first and it is fantastic to be trialling it in London with our partners,” he added.

Phil Eaves, Farmdrop director of supply chain, added: “As part of our mission to fix the food chain, Farmdrop are committed to the use of electric vehicles for customer deliveries.

“We’re proud to have zero tailpipe emissions and customers love our 100% electric delivery fleet. As the ethical grocer we look forward to embracing the use of new technology through this trial,” he added.


Arcola Energy scheme to develop hydrogen-enabled drivetrain for large vans and trucks

The government has provided funding for a £500,000 project to develop hydrogen-enabled drivetrains for large vans and trucks.

Announced last week as part of the DfT and Innovate UK’s £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial, the scheme will enable the development of a zero-emission drivetrain, which will be incorporated into a 3.5-tonne van.

The 1,000kg payload vehicle will have an approximately 200-mile range, in urban use.

Hydrogen fuel system firm Arcola Energy will design a hydrogen-electric hybrid drivetrain, with a hydrogen fuel cell system providing extended range.

Project partner Haydale Composite Solutions will develop a 700bar hydrogen tank to suit the emerging refuelling standards and enable the range extension for the vehicle.

Commercial Group, operator of the largest commercial hydrogen-enabled vehicle fleet in the UK, will trial the vehicle – the first fully zero-emission vehicle in their hydrogen-powered fleet.

Ben Todd, MD at Arcola Energy, said: “From our experience in supplying zero-emission vans to end-users, we are only too aware of the absence of a zero-emission 3.5-tonne commercial vehicle in the marketplace.

“Thus, we are delighted to be working with other UK-based partners to deliver and commercially trial a scalable, practical approach to addressing this requirement.”

Arthur Hindmarch, MD at Commercial Group, added: “We are tremendously excited to be involved in a project that is not just at the cutting edge of zero-emission vehicle development, but which promises to re-invigorate the UK’s drivetrain manufacturing industry, harnessing the country’s long-standing capability in this area.

“We believe that hydrogen powered transport solutions are a key part of our zero-emission future and are proud to be an early adopter.”

A total of 20 projects are to be funded under the government trial, which aims to develop methods to enable widescale adoption of low-emissions vehicle across the freight and logistics sector.

Arcola Energy already works in partnership with ITM Power and Symbio FCell to provide a one-stop-shop service for operators wishing to use hydrogen vans within their fleet operations, providing buying advice, refuelling and maintenance support.


Smart Freight Centre leads new project to help businesses lower transport emissions

A new global project has been set up to help businesses reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their logistics supply chain.

The EC-funded Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reduction Network (Learn) project is being carried out by a consortium of 13 organisations.

It is being led by the Smart Freight Centre, and will run until March 2019. UK partners include Transport Research Laboratory and the Energy Saving Trust.

It aims to accelerate emissions measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) that will allow companies to identify reduction actions and track progress.

Project partners will also look to help develop a potential accreditation system, or label, to acknowledge those businesses proactively improving logistics efficiencies.

“As companies and countries are trying to put the Paris Climate Agreement into practice, freight and logistics has an opportunity to demonstrate leadership.” says Sophie Punte, executive director at the Smart Freight Centre.

According to the project, global freight and logistics movements are responsible for around 6% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The first Learn International Workshop will be held on 4 and 5 April 2017 in Brussels.



Cenex to establish business case for vehicle-to-grid technology

Cenex will be the UK partner on the European Smart Mobile Energy programme and will explore the business case for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology to power cities.

The project will investigate how cities can increase energy efficiency and decrease carbon emissions by integrating V2G technology into the existing energy infrastructure at district and city scale.

It will explore how electric vehicles (EVs) can support energy infrastructure through V2G, using EV batteries as short-term storage to manage energy demand at district and city scale in Birmingham, Berlin and Valencia.

At Aston University, in Birmingham, V2G technology is already proven and operating successfully at a building level.

This project will allow Cenex to evaluate how the connection and control of multiple V2G installations could be implemented at a district and city scale.

Cenex will work with city authorities, grid and energy companies, large building owners and EV fleet operators evaluate the potential network impacts and business case of V2G in three major European cities.

Other partners in the three city project include: the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Valencia, Energy Technology Institute and The Foundation of the Valencian Community for Strategic Promotion, Development and Urban Innovation.

Robert Evans, CEO at Cenex, said: “This is a critical next step toward accelerating Europe’s move to clean energy.”



Toyota to explore hydrogen fuel cell potential for HGVs

Vehicle manufacturer Toyota has announced a US-based feasibility study to explore the potential of scaling up its hydrogen fuel cell technology to power an HGV.

The technology is currently used in its zero-emission Mirai car, however the manufacturer believes the system could be used to produce a wide range of zero-emission vehicle options, including lorries.

A statement on its US website read: “The scalability of this technology is enabling the automaker to explore a semi-trailer truck application for a California-based feasibility study.

“The Toyota Mirai will continue to provide a zero emission driving solution for global customers; a heavy-duty truck sized fuel cell vehicle creates a potential zero-emission freight transportation solution for the future.”

The manufacturer said more details on the study, and the continued development of “a hydrogen society”, will be announced in the coming months.

Hydrogen refuelling hubs have continued to increase in the UK, with last month seeing the first solar-powered site opened in London.