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DPD teams up with iconic brand for testing ahead of van launch

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DPD teams up with iconic brand for testing ahead of van launch. Image: DPD Group
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The UK’s leading next day parcel delivery firm, DPD, has confirmed that it is to partner with the London EV Company for a series of road trials ahead of the launch of the company’s new VN5 Electric Van later this year.

LEVC, formally known as The London Taxi Company, is the brand behind the iconic London black taxicabs. The company created the world’s first EV taxi in 2017, which was designed and manufactured at the firm’s Coventry base – the first dedicated EV car plant in the UK.

The VN5 Electric Van is a 2.5 tonne low emissions vehicle and will be available in the UK in quarter four, 2020. The Range Extending Vehicle will offer a fully electric powertrain with a Pure EV range of 63 miles, and a total flexible range of over 300 miles.

DPD will be testing the technology using a specially adapted LEVC vehicle. The team will be looking at how the vehicle operates in different driving conditions, and with different loads and on different types of routes, using the full capability of the range extending technology.

DPD is the parcel industry EV leader and is already on track to have over 600 electric vehicles by the end of this year, equating to 10% of its fleet. The company has also created a new model for sustainable urban parcel deliveries, based on a network of all-electric micro-depots, the first of which opened in Westminster in 2018.

While DPD has successfully rolled out EVs and charging technology to all its UK depots, the company has been vocal about the challenges on the road to zero emissions, including the supply of enough electric vehicles. Range is another issue, especially in less urban areas, where DPD vehicles often have to travel a significant distance to get to the start of the delivery route. Hence the interest in the VN5.

Dwain McDonald, DPD’s CEO commented, “We are committed to having the greenest fleet in the UK, as soon as possible. While EVs remain our priority, we are keen to look at a wide range of technologies to help solve different challenges. We’ve developed a great model for large urban centres and EVs are working well out of our regional depots on many routes. But, inevitably, we have a number of routes where we have to drive a significant number of stem miles from the depot just to get to the first delivery address. At the moment, the limited range on pure EVs, means we can’t move away from diesel vans for these routes.

“It is great to work with LEVC. It is such an iconic British brand and another great Midlands-based business. We are keen to see how the technology works for us. It is a very flexible solution and it could well help solve a few challenges. It is very smart, and we like that. For example, we could use geo-fencing so that it switches automatically to electric-only on entering urban areas, including low emissions zones. We will certainly give it a good test and we’ll see how it works out. In the meantime, we are taking delivery of more EVs every week, right across our depot network and the feedback from our drivers and customers has been excellent.”

Joerg Hofmann, LEVC CEO, commented: “We are delighted that DPD is the first company to begin testing of our VN5 taxi-van prototypes. These real-world tests mark a milestone occasion in the history of LEVC, as the company continues its transformation from an iconic British taxi brand to a leading electric vehicle manufacturer.

“VN5 is set to revolutionise green logistics and we are looking forward to working with DPD as it puts the vehicle through its paces. Feedback from major business operators will be crucial to the further development of the van as we rapidly move to its launch in Q4 this year.”

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Unifeeder contracts We4Sea for fleetwide vessel performance monitoring

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Unifeeder contracts We4Sea for fleetwide vessel performance monitoring. Image: We4Sea B.V.
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Unifeeder A/S and We4Sea B.V. have signed a cooperation agreement to roll-out the We4Sea Digital Twin based performance monitoring solution across Unifeeder’s fleet. Aim is to reduce the ships’ fuel consumption and emissions.

The Unifeeder Group is an integrated logistics company with the largest feeder network and rapidly growing shortsea business in Europe, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia region with connectivity to more than 150 ports. 

Unifeeder plays a critical role as a facilitator of integrated global and regional supply chains, simplifying the complex tasks of choosing and managing supply chains by providing efficient and sustainable transport solutions. 

Michael Bonde, COO of Unifeeder, says: “Unifeeder wants to be an active participant in finding innovative solutions, through different partnerships and by being a business-driven IT organization. We are working with AI and machine learning platforms to provide significant operational benefits to our vessels and minimize the environmental impact.”

Digital Twin performance analysis

We4Sea focuses on increasing fuel efficiency and lower emissions of seagoing vessels by using a Digital Twin. The Twin provides shipowners and charterers with improved performance insights.

To generate the best results and increase fleet sustainability, Unifeeder and We4Sea  have agreed to roll out the monitoring solution across the entire Unifeeder group fleet. 

With its Digital Twin technology, We4Sea builds a digital sister vessel with all relevant technical characteristics of the real vessel. This data is enriched from other sources, such as data on speed, draught, weather conditions, wave heights, currents and wind.  

Optimising vessel efficiency 

The Digital Twin transforms this big data pool into actionable management information. The technology does not require onboard hardware installation  and is therefore ideal for charterers, such as Unifeeder. 

The solution supports full transparency. Charterers can continuously monitor fuel consumption, carbon and sulphur emissions of their chartered vessels in real-time via an online dashboard. 

Dan Veen, Co-founder and CEO of We4Sea, says: “Realtime monitoring and reporting is the first step in improving fuel-efficiency. Optimising fuel consumption of Unifeeder’s fleet based on the findings will not only have a direct impact on financial results, but also improves operational efficiency and CO2 and SOx reduction. We are looking forward to working with Unifeeder and getting results fast.”

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Port joins Hunter group pursuing United Nations sustainability goals

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Port joins Hunter group pursuing United Nations sustainability goals. Image: Port of Newcastle
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Port of Newcastle is one of seven Hunter institutions that have united to advocate for and drive local adoption of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Group members – PON, City of Newcastle, Compass Housing Services, Hunter Water, Kumalie, Port Waratah Coal Services and University of Newcastle – have committed to raise awareness and actively implement the SDGs in the region.

Port of Newcastle’s Environment, Planning and Sustainability Manager, Jackie Spiteri, said the move was part of efforts to become a more sustainable and responsible organisation.

“The UN’s 17 SDGs form the blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice,” Ms Spiteri said.

“We have joined other leading Hunter institutions to create a shared vision in this area, build our region’s capability and look at what that looks like in practice, including how that affects the supply chain, procurement and strategic direction of each party.”

Port of Newcastle last month released its 2019 Sustainability Report, which measures the organisation’s progress in achieving its sustainability commitments and its contribution towards the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Hunter and regional New South Wales.

It is also moving to 100% renewable energy by 2021 and is continuing to transition all its vehicles to electric by 2023.

Ms Spiteri said a STEM scholarship program for Aboriginal students, currently being developed through a partnership with University of Newcastle, and programs to promote the empowerment of women in maritime, were just part of the Port’s broader commitment to sustainable and responsible operations.

“Minimising our environmental footprint, diversifying trade and creating a more resilient economy requires a determined, long-term effort, with co-operation between the Port and its stakeholders,” Ms Spiteri said.

“While we look to what the Port could be in the decades ahead, it is clear there are things we can do today to make the way we operate the port more sustainable and responsible.”

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Yang Ming fulfills green promise carbon emission reduced 51% in 2019

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Yang Ming fulfills green promise carbon emission reduced 51% in 2019. Image: Flickr/ JAXPORT
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To achieve the pursuit of global sustainability and respond to customers’ growing awareness about environmental issues, Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. formulated plans to build an echo-friendly fleet a decade ago with the aim to proactively enhance ship energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission.

In 2019, Yang Ming fleet’s average carbon intensity (CO2 emissions per transport work) per Teu/Km significantly reduced by 51% compared with the level in 2008, from 99.4 g/teu-km to 48.1 g/teu-km, accomplishing the IMO target of reducing carbon intensity by at least 40% by 2030, eleven years ahead of schedule. Through continuous fleet optimization, Yang Ming has fulfilled its promise of energy saving and emission reduction.

GHG emission plays a critical role in climate change mitigation. In this respect, IMO has adopted strict regulations to address the issue and set the goals to cut global shipping carbon intensity by at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050 when compared to 2008.

To achieve the targets, Yang Ming has formulated several long-term strategies, including implementing 12 vessel modification and optimization projects, and accelerating the vessel renewal plan by eliminating vessels over 20 years of age and adding ten 2,800 TEU class, twenty 14,000 TEU and fourteen 11,000 TEU class echo-friendly smart vessels.

In addition, Yang Ming has cooperated with weather service provider Weathernews Inc. to build a monitoring system to manage fuel consumption and reduce GHG emission, and further evaluate the possibility of developing duel-fuel engine such as LNG or other engines that can perform with carbon-neutral alternative fuels.

As for sulphur oxide emission, Yang Ming ensured an early transition to use low sulfur fuel oil at Kaohsiung port and Shenzhen port in 2018. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Yang Ming’s fleet has switched to very-low sulphur fuel oil with sulphur content lower than 0.5% and reduced sulphur oxide emission by 80% compared to traditional heavy fuel oil.

Furthermore, Yang Ming has actively participated in vessel speed reduction programs initiated by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Taiwan International Ports Corporation, LTD to well protect the marine ecology.

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