Freight in the City Expo attracts big name exhibitors

The inaugural Freight in the City Expo is already attracting major industry manufacturers looking to demonstrate how fleets can be made, cleaner, safer and more efficient in their urban delivery operations.

Daf, Volvo, Isuzu and Iveco will be bringing along their latest urban delivery vehicles for visitors to explore, while technology giants such as Brigade, Tachodisc, Fuel Defend, Backwatch and Exeros will show you how to improve efficiency of your existing vehicles.

Representatives from the Eco Stars scheme will also be on hand to provide guidance to fleet operators on ways to drive down carbon emissions and make efficiency gains in fuel usage.

With more exhibitors signing up every day to take part in the expo, make sure you register today on to receive regular urban logistics news and event updates as they happen.

The Freight in the City Expo will be held on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace and comprise an exhibition and demonstration zone, alongside a comprehensive programme of seminars, panel debates and roundtables with industry experts.



John Lewis signs up to use new high-pressure-connected public CNG filling station for HGVs

John Lewis Partnership is the first major operator to sign up to use a public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station that will open later this year.

CNG Fuels has secured planning permission for the new station to be located close to junction 28 of the M6 in Lancashire.

It will be capable of ‘fast filling’ 500-plus HGVs per day, or as much as 3,500kg of CNG per hour, as well as also supplying 100% renewable biomethane (Bio-CNG).

Philip Fjeld, director at CNG Fuels, said: “Our customers can save more than 40% of their diesel cost, even after the recent drop in diesel prices, and cut CO2 emissions by more than 20% by using CNG.

“If fleets choose to fuel their trucks with Bio-CNG, they will be running on 100% renewable gas.”

Further public-access stations are also in the pipeline for CNG Fuels, he added.

Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, has a regional distribution centre less than one mile from Leyland LTS CNG station and will be the anchor customer for the CNG station.

Justin Laney, general manager, Central Transport, John Lewis Partnership, said: “We are proud of the efficiency of our distribution network, and a key element is running a low-carbon fleet.

“We see the use of methane, and in particular biomethane, as the main opportunity to make a step change in the carbon emissions of our heavy truck fleet.”

He added that the company is currently running 44 dual-fuel trucks that use a mixture of gas and diesel fuel, and is also exploring the possibility of running dedicated gas trucks.

Brit European will also be refuelling its CNG fleet at the new Leyland station, due to open in the last quarter of the year.

National Grid network strategy director, David Parkin, said: “Whether it’s CNG or Bio-CNG, the benefits for use as a fuel in HGVs is clear; lower emissions, quieter engine noise and favourable fuel prices, compared with traditional liquid fuels.”






New video highlights how liquefied natural gas fuel can cut pollution from HGVs

Gasrec, supplier of liquefied natural gas for transport, has produced a video for YouTube to show how the growing use of natural gas as a transport fuel is helping reduce pollution from HGVs across the UK.

The company said greater use of this low-emission fuel will help the UK meet its stringent future emission reduction targets and improve air quality. It will also allow transport operators to reduce costs and improve their environmental performance.

Gasrec was formed in 2003 to develop a process for clean-up and liquefaction of methane from landfill gas, anaerobic digestion and other stranded sources.

The company owns and operates 11 refuelling stations across the UK. Included in the stations is the UK’s first ‘open-access’ Bio-LNG filling station at the Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT), which Gasrec said fuels more than 35% of all gas-powered HGVs on UK roads.

Gasrec has secured EU funding to now expand its network of fuelling sites at strategic locations across the UK  and Europe.

The firm works closely with manufactuers, retailers and operators to help introduce natural-gas technology into logistics operations. In April, it displayed the UK’s first first dedicated Euro-6 gas-powered HGV at the CV Show, a Scania tractor unit that recently entered service with Argos and has been trialled by a number of other retail and logistics companies.

Local authorities can get free electric vehicle charging point replacements

Local authorities will be able to replace ageing public-access electric vehicle charging points free-of-charge under plans announced by Chargemaster.

The offer forms part of an expansion plan for the company, which aims to boost the UK’s electric vehicle infrastructure by extending its own Polar charging point network.

More than 2,000 additional charging points, both in new locations and to replace older units, will be installed across the UK to join the 4,000 already in operation.

The scheme aims to address what it said were “significant issues” caused by the inability to service a number of existing, older third-party points installed under the government’s Plugged in Places scheme in cities nationwide.

It is therefore allowing local authorities to replace these publically available units free of charge.

Around 1,000 charging points will be installed in the capital, 600 of which will be in new locations, focused particularly on hotels, supermarkets and health clubs.

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, said: “By growing our network nationwide, but also focusing on traditionally poor areas of service, such as London, we are confident we will make a marked difference for EV owners wanting to charge on the move”.

He added: “100% serviceability of charging points is crucial and Chargemaster’s programme will help ensure that motorists in London and elsewhere will see a clear improvement of availability.”

Earlier this month, Chargemaster acquired charging point installation firm GB Electrical as part of its growth plan. This will enable the company to carry out its own installations rather than use subcontractors.

The company said in the past 12 months, as electric vehicle sales have gathered pace, its sales have doubled accordingly.

The electric vehicle charging market, of which Chargemaster said it owns around 60% market share, is predicted to continue with its rapid growth.

Chargemaster’s customers include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, Mitsubishi, Renault, Nissan and supermarkets such as Waitrose and ASDA, as well as more than 30 local authorities and central government.



Local authorities pivotal in promoting shift to low-emission vehicles in cities

Take-up of low-emission vehicles in towns and cities is steadily increasing year-on-year, but local authorities have a significant part to play in supporting this growth.

This was the message delivered by the Office of Low-Emission Vehicles (OLEV) to delegates attending a Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership workshop in York city yesterday (6 July).

Steve Ives, head of energy systems at OLEV, said the government’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme would be sharing £35m between two to four successful cities bidding for funding in the national competition.

The scheme’s main aim is to see winning cities bring about a step-change in uptake of ULEVs, as well as becoming exemplars demonstrating how a local authority can achieve success.

Gloria Esposito, head of projects at LowCVP, said key drivers for boosting uptake of low-emission vehicles remain to reduce CO2 and NOx/PM emissions from road transport; lessen the reliance on fossil fuels; and to increase economic development through manufacturing and employment opportunities in the automotive sector.


However, several barriers currently exist to preclude widescale uptake of ULEVs in the van sector, such as a lack of available vehicles, particularly those with a higher payload; lack of information about financial benefits and suitability of alternative fuels; and a lack of information sharing between fleet operators.

To date, only 0.2% of new van sales are electric, with the Renault Kangoo the highest seller last year out of nine available van models and one range-extended electric vehicle, said Esposito.

Electric vans are perceived to have higher capital costs, with uncertainty in the total cost of ownership, including battery life and replacement charge. Also a payload penalty, range limitation, resale value and uncertainty in performance remain concerns for fleet operators.

Natural gas/biomethane vans suffer from a lack of refuelling stations and uncertainty in performance and reliability.

Help at hand

To overcome some of these barriers, Cenex’s new low-emission van cost and carbon guide provides much of the information local authorities need to know about the suitability of different types of van for their individual operations, including comparisons of whole-life costs and benefits.

Cenex said the online tool was essential as the van sector was the fastest growing sector of UK road transport, contributing 14% of the industry’s total CO2 emissions from a 95% diesel vehicle fleet.

David Beeton, director at sustainable city think-tank Urban Foresight, looked at some of the ways local authorities could promote a shift in vehicle use at the conference.

These included both financial and non-financial incentives (such as dedicated parking bays), as well as ensuring planning departments come on-board and begin to build-in provision for alternative-fuel infrastructure into new developments or parking plans. For example, delegates learned that in Westminster, 100% of planning permits for new parking spaces specify they must all be EV ready.

Incentives do not have to be focused on rewarding desired behaviour, there could be penalties imposed for those not adopting low-emission vehicles instead.

Leading by example

Procurement was another key driver that local authorities can use to lead by example with uptake of greener fleets.

In Dundee, the council runs the UK’s largest local authority fleet of ULEVS, with 62 units representing more than 25% of its light duty vehicles, while Stockholm city is leading a joint procurement scheme with 335 partners buying 1,250 low-emission vehicles per year.

Promoting recharging infrastructure is also essential for local authorities, added Beeton. For example, in Scotland and the West of England, electricity for charging vehicles is free of charge, while Camden allows public access for a variety of alterative fuel charging points used for its own fleet.

Beeton said collaboration between all departments in a local authority, as well as sharing best practice with other cities would really help stimulate EV take-up.

The creation of a ‘champion’ within each local authority was also a useful tool, he added.







Freight in the City seminar programme to provide practical, real-life guidance to improve city deliveries

The seminar programme is taking shape for the inaugural Freight in the City Expo on 27 October at London’s Alexandra Palace.

Split into three distinct work streams to cover all aspects of clean, safe and efficient urban logistics, the seminars will bring together operators, local authorities, businesses, industry experts and policy-makers to inspire delegates to push the boundaries of improving their city centre deliveries.

Presentations and activities will demonstrate the many successful urban freight schemes taking place both in UK cities and globally, and explore practical ways that can see such measures adopted at local level.

The clean work stream will look at the latest breakthrough technology available for making sustainable urban deliveries, such as viable alternative-fuelled HGVs and vans, and provide guidance on how to navigate the myriad of available grants and research to draw upon. It will also demonstrate real-life case studies of trials being carried out in partnership between operators, local councils and businesses and explain how collaboration is paramount.

Safe deliveries will be tackled in work stream two, which will cover the implications of existing and forthcoming legislation to urban deliveries, look at the latest equipment and training schemes to help delivery drivers navigate busy city streets, and examine how local authorities can work with all road users to help them share limited road space without incidents.

Finally, the efficient work stream aims to inspire delegates with innovative ways to get freight into city centres. Consolidation schemes, zero-emission last-mile drop-offs and out-of-hours deliveries are among the many successful schemes being used every day in UK cities to reduce congestion and make more efficient use of busy urban roads.

If you feel your company or organisation has the expertise to speak at one of our seminars about a topical urban logistics challenge, or there is a particular subject you’d be interested to learn more about at the expo, please contact

You can also register to receive the latest expo updates and a fortnightly round-up of Freight in the City news via email.

Be prepared for London’s Safer Lorry Scheme HGV rules, says FTA

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is urging operators to prepare early for Transport for London’s (TfL) Safer Lorry Scheme, due to go live on 1 September.

From this date, all HGVs operating in the capital must be fitted with additional mirrors and sideguards – but the new regulations are “exceptionally precise” said the FTA and may require expert help to get right.

FTA head of engineering Andy Mair said: “Dimension and installation requirements are extremely complex and operators who have to retrofit their trucks to comply with the scheme need to be confident that sideguards have been put on correctly.”

“As these vehicles are exempt from existing construction regulations, they will not be checked as part of the annual testing examination and operators may only realise that they have incorrectly installed sideguards following enforcement action and fines under the new Safer Lorry Scheme.”

The scheme will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will require all vehicles over 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with sideguards and kerb view and front mirrors.  The enforcement area is the entire London Low Emission Zone and operators breaching the rules face £50 fixed penalties or £1,000 court fines.

The scheme will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint DfT/TfL-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce.  Those who don’t comply will be referred for investigation by the relevant Traffic Commissioner.

Andy said: “The FTA strongly advises operators to check their vehicle types against the exempted vehicle list on TfL’s website, and if they have vehicles which require sideguards and mirrors to be fitted, ensure they have these correctly installed.”

FTA’s Member Advice Centre can be contacted by email at

Zero-emission refrigeration units for HGVs move a step closer

A greener way to transport refrigerated and frozen goods moves a step closer with the opening of Dearman’s new R&D facility near Croydon, Surrey.

The Dearman Technology Centre  is the first dedicated liquid air engine facility of its kind and will enable the company to begin full testing of its zero-emission engine technology.

It will become a hub of liquid air engine design, engineering, test and development. When fully operational it will enable the testing of four engines simultaneously, along with full system testing, supported by low-volume manufacturing and build capabilities.

Dearman’s deputy chief executive, Michael Ayres, said:  “Having a bespoke facility means that we can accelerate our rate of development and testing, enabling us to bring zero-emission cold and power technologies to market even quicker.”

He added: “With four test cells and a dedicated workshop, we are able to work on several projects in parallel. Already we are placed to commence work on the high-efficiency auxiliary power unit for use on buses and heavy-duty vehicles next week.”

Dearman’s zero-emission transport refrigeration system is currently in extended on-vehicle testing at MIRA, and will be commencing commercial on-road trials later this year with low volume manufacturing planned in 2016.

In addition to significant reductions in NOx and particulate emissions, Dearman said its transport refrigeration system (TRU) results in substantial well-to-wheel CO2 savings. The operating costs are also lower than conventional units and pay-back is likely to be less than one year, it added.

The company has linked up with transport refrigeration unit firm Hubbard Products in its drive to bring the new technology to market.

Pat Maughan, MD, Hubbard Products, said the technology “has enormous potential to revolutionise both the emissions and costs inherent in refrigerated road transport”.

Dearman said the global market for refrigerated transport is projected to double by 2025, with 9.6 million vehicles on the road.

The company has recently been awarded funding from Innovate UK to develop its auxiliary power unit, and work on customising the transport refrigeration system for different vehicle types – activity that will be focused in the new Dearman Technology Centre.

London operator O’Donovan uses IT to slash driver incidents and insurance claims

London operator O’Donovan Waste Disposal has seen driver incidents and insurance claims fall significantly since investing in an operational management system (OMS) it developed with its insurer HDI-Gerling.

The company invested £80,000 in a system for its 85-strong fleet last year that was designed to improve driver performance in terms of safety and environmental impact.

Data from the system over the past 12 months show a 25% drop in the number of driving incidents being recorded by the OMS, which include driving behaviours such as acceleration, braking, lane discipline and collisions. Insurance claims have also been slashed by 60%.

O’Donovan said the significant improvements demonstrate how it has effectively used the OMS not to simply monitor data, but also as a training tool to improve driver behaviour.

The system enables driver behaviour to be monitored in real-time and driving patterns to be identified. To encourage performance improvements amongst its drivers, O’Donovan has introduced league tables for best and worst performers, as well as a ‘driver of the week’ achievement.

Jacqueline O’Donovan, MD at O’Donovan Waste Disposal, said: “Improving the safety of our logistics operations is a core part of our business strategy and this system has played an important role in helping to improve driver behaviour by providing the evidence of the key areas to work on.”

She added: “Rather than acting as ‘Big Brother’, it’s a supporting tool and one that our drivers have embraced. They are keen to analyse and compare data and deliver any required changes. The league table we introduced has been taken on as a friendly bit of competition, but one that has worked – drivers are keen to see where they are each week. We have been very pleased with the results the investment has delivered in a short space of time.”

The investment formed part of the company’s commitment to set the benchmark for commercial vehicle management, while the sustainability benefits delivered also support its ‘Greener Vision Strategy’ – aiming to reduce O’Donovan’s impact on the environment.

Michael Gwilt, manager of motor fleet risk management at HDI-Gerling UK, said: “As well as reducing risk, the system should have a positive impact on O’Donovan’s future insurance premiums – one of the biggest costs for a logistics business. In addition to improving driver behaviour and minimising the risk of collisions, it also helps to clarify liability in the event of a collision, working in conjunction with O’Donovan’s in-cab CCTV’’.

O’Donovan Waste Disposal is a gold member of the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme and a CLOCS scheme champion. The company was awarded the Motor Transport Training Award 2014.

Local authority guide to encouraging uptake of low-emission vehicles launched

The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (Low CVP) has launched a good practice guide for ‘Local Measures to Encourage the Uptake of Low Emission Vehicles’.

This new guide aims to assist local and city authorities in understanding a broad range of
policy measures and initiatives that can be used to encourage the uptake of LEVs.

It covers 12 distinct areas including planning, procurement and infrastructure provision.

A key recommendation is that policy measures implemented at local level should be consistent with each other and that common definitions and vocabulary for low-emission vehicles should be established.

With 12 cities shortlisted for the government’s £35m Go Ultra Low City scheme now preparing their final
bids, Low CVP said the guide provides a wide range of options that bidders may employ.

Five ‘P’s are identified in the guide, which are the levers that local authorities can most effectively use to influence low-emission vehicle uptake at local level. These are:

  • Parking – discounts for LEVs or dedicated bays;
  • Permits – discounts for LEVs to operate in low-emission zones and for residents;
  • Planning – embedding consideration for LEV fuelling infrastructure into local
  • Procurement – local authorities specifying LEVs for their own fleets and setting leading
    standards for their service providers;
  • Promotion – of the benefits to business and via educational activity within the local

The Low CVP said light duty vehicles – cars, vans and taxis – contribute much of the air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in towns and cities across the UK and that low-emission vehicles have a critical role to play in tackling this.

Action taken at local level can be vital to complement national policies by making LEVs more convenient, cost effective and desirable to use, it added.

Examples of successful private public partnerships are explained in combination with case studies of
good practice in the UK and internationally.

The Guide outlines challenges local authorities face in adopting LEV policies, and provides recommendations for how these can be overcome.

Low CVP said the market for a variety of LEVs, such as battery electric and plug-in hybrids, is in its early stages and requires national and local incentives to stimulate consumer demand and increase vehicle numbers.

Local authorities are advised to set appropriate definitions for low emissions, prescribing the most up-to-date Euro engine emission standards and aligning CO2 emission standards with national policy

Research undertaken in developing the Guide found that air quality was the most powerful driver for
local authorities to implement low-emissions policies, followed by mitigating climate change.

Derek McCreadie, low-emission officer, City of York Council, said: “City of York Council recognises
the importance of using local policy measures to support the adoption of low emission vehicles. The
new Low CVP ‘Good Practice Guide’ offers a broad range of case studies and innovative policy ideas
that can be replicable across any local government context.”
About the LowCVP
The LowCVP was established in 2003 and is a public-private partnership that exists to accelerate a sustainable shift to lower carbon vehicles and fuels and create opportunities for UK businesses. Nearly 200 organisations are engaged from diverse backgrounds including automotive and fuel supply chains, government, vehicle users, academics, environment groups and others.