Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
Corporate Responsibility Report 2013
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Road transport

We rely on a fleet of trucks and smaller delivery vehicles to handle our overland and regional transport operations as well as last-mile delivery services. Today our road fleet consists of more than 89,000 vehicles, including small commercial vehicles for letter mail and parcel delivery, light trucks for regional transport, and heavy trucks for long-haul transport. As our business continues to grow, our fleet of road vehicles also grows, and we make sure to consider eco-friendly drive technologies when purchasing new vehicles. As called for in of our Corporate Investment Policy, newly purchased vehicles must always be more eco-friendly than those being replaced. Today we have a total of 10,500 green vehicles in our fleet (previous year: 8,500 green vehicles). In addition to these, more than 1,000 green vehicles are deployed by our subcontractors. We will continue to increase this number in order to reach our climate protection target. 

Road transport fleet: Vehicles with alternative drive systems1

Electric/Fuel cell
Hybrid drive
Liquefied biofuels
Compressed natural gas (CNG)/Biogas
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
Dual fuel
1 Based on survey.
2 Figures include 1,046 vehicles from subcontractors.

In addition to alternative drive systems, we also take advantage of other technical efficiency-enhancing measures in order to make our vehicle fleet more efficient.

Road transport fleet: Additional technical modifications 1

Advanced aerodynamics
Eco-chiptuning & speed limiting
Telematics systems
1 Based on survey. Technical efficiency-enhancing modifications can be implemented on all of our road transport vehicles. One single vehicle could have been modified with more than one optimization measure.
2 Data includes measures that were implemented on sucontractor vehicles (share: < 0.01%).

Focus on long-haul transport

A large share of our road transport-related greenhouse gas emissions is generated by heavy trucks on long-haul routes. In order to improve the greenhouse gases emission performance of our road transport operations, we must therefore focus on efficiency measures for long-haul transport. Vehicle modernization and modifications as well as the use of alternative, low-emission fuels and drive systems are the main tools we employ to achieve emissions targets. In the UK, for example, we have added 100 dual-fuel technology vehicles to our fleet of heavy trucks. And in Sweden, in collaboration with our transport partners, we have converted 1,000 vehicles to run on sustainably produced biofuels. Other efforts include optimizing vehicle aerodynamics to reduce fuel consumption on long-haul routes.

Adopting fuel-saving driving techniques also made an important contribution to improved fuel efficiency overall, and we will continue to invest in eco-friendly driver training.

Greater efficiency for regional transport

Our light-duty trucks are deployed primarily for regional transport. Here too, our efforts to improve carbon efficiency rely primarily on technological solutions.

We see great potential in alternative drive technologies and are working together with manufacturers and suppliers to develop hybrid and alternative-fuel trucks that are able to meet our regional transport requirements. One result of these efforts was the introduction of the “range extender” truck, piloted in 2012, into our regular operations in the reporting year. We were also successful in transferring the LPG dual-fuel drive systems already implemented in the heavy truck segment to the light-duty truck segment. This, too, was achieved in collaboration with our transport partners.

Alternative drive systems: The future for the short and medium-haul segment

The largest portion of our fleet consists of small commercial vehicles such as delivery vans. Despite their large numbers, their contribution to our overall greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small. Nonetheless, they play an important role in our environmental protection strategy. By using greener delivery vehicles, which are deployed primarily in urban settings, we help reduce emissions in cities, improve air quality, and improve overall quality of life in these urban areas. This becomes more and more important as urbanization increases.

We therefore strive to lower light-duty vehicle emissions by making increased use of green technologies in the light truck segment as well. We are also investing in the development and testing of electric mobility (e-mobility) solutions. Electric powered vehicles are especially well suited for the stop-and-go of pickup and delivery operations. In the reporting year we achieved a milestone on the way to sustainable, emissions-free delivery with our pilot project Carbon-free Delivery in Bonn. The results from this long-term study will serve as a blueprint for expanding electric-powered delivery to other cities and regions. In addition, our innovative electric delivery vehicle, the StreetScooter, which is also part of the Bonn-based pilot project, combines both environmental and ergonomic benefits. As with all vehicles in our electric fleet, the StreetScooter is powered by green electricity from renewable energy sources. We are also developing alternatives to motor vehicle delivery in city settings. Our EXPRESS division in the Netherlands, for example, has launched a green project which replaces automobiles with bicycles and e-bikes for urban courier deliveries.

We are also striving to further reduce emissions in our medium-range van operations. One of the most effective improvement measures for these vehicles, besides the use of alternative fuels, is eco-friendly driving techniques. Our global EXPRESS business therefore made significant investments in the use of telematics systems to help drivers adopt a more environmentally friendly way of driving. In the reporting year we were able to deploy 672 delivery vehicles with telematics systems.