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Raben drives eco

2019.10.16
Limitations of transport would be difficult and inadvisable for the economy: the needs of consumers, the interests of enterprises as well as the economic performance of individual countries would suffer as a consequence. However, it is possible - and even necessary, in the face of progressing climate change - to make transport as sustainable as possible. Raben Group is aware of this problem, which is why it is simultaneously investing in pro-ecological transport solutions and taking measures to counteract the negative effects of transport.

Although transport generates only about 15%[1] of the total gas emissions into the atmosphere, the logistics industry, aware of the responsibility for future generations, seeks to minimize its impact on the environment. This is no different in the case of Raben Group which is implementing numerous innovations in this field. Already in 2016, the Group carried out first tests of gas-powered vehicles - both on short routes and in long-distance transport. As a result, in Germany, Raben fleet has been equipped with two LNG truck tractors, and five CNG-powered trucks have been operating in Poland for a year now. These are medium-duty vehicles (about 10 pallets), delivering domestic shipments within the radius of 150 km from the depot. Their advantages include benefits for the environment: slightly lower CO2 emissions, and above all, almost no particulate matter and a reduction in noise by about 10 dB compared to diesel engines, which is particularly important for deliveries in built-up areas.

“Unfortunately, almost complete lack of infrastructure, market conditions and resulting high investment costs still prohibit the implementation of this solution on a larger scale. Therefore, keeping cost and operational efficiency in mind, and at the same time caring for the environment, we are trying out other solutions fit for the current situation.” – explains Jakub Krzewina, CSR and Internal Communications Manager in Raben Group  - “They allow for the reduction of emissions of particulates and CO2 into the atmosphere per pallet of transported goods thanks to the more optimal use of cargo space, and consequently reduction in the number of transport runs and trucks on the road.

The first thing that can be pointed out is double deck trailers. Raben Group has been investing in them for several years now and will have almost 700 units by the end of this year. They enable increasing the standard load capacity of a semi-trailer by 100% (from 30 to 60 pallets thanks to stacking), and even by 140%, which means 20% less emissions per one pallet with goods. On average, in 2018, payload was increased to the level of 122% on routes between Raben Group terminals. The company also uses about 700 swap body BDF containers, gradually replacing traditional, large semi-trailers. This increases the flexibility of transport and allows for transporting more pallets at once: a semi-trailer is 33 pallet spaces, and one BDF container is a total of 36 such places - also a double deck - so the set can have up to 72 pallets in one transport. This solution not only provides a lower emission factor per pallet because there is one vehicle instead of four on the road, but it also helps to reduce empty runs.

In countries where law allows it (e.g. in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands), Raben Group also uses a road train in the “Jumbo” version. The payload of such a vehicle increases up to 102 EUR-pallets. It is a truly cost-saving solution for regular routes - for example, in the Czech Republic, it allows for reducing CO2 emissions by 200 tons per year. Another significant improvement is CityLiner type trailers (100 items) that allow for loading 27 pallets. Thanks to their design, they can freely enter urban areas, with restricted traffic, available so far only for vehicles with a maximum average load capacity of up to 15 pallets. Here, it is also possible to reduce emissions per pallet of goods, and additionally the number of trucks moving around urban agglomerations.

Guided by social responsibility, Raben not only strives to reduce emissions, but it also trying to eliminate CO2 which has already entered the atmosphere. For this purpose, the company plants trees as part of the “e-invoice=higher culture” campaign: every customer who resigns from paper invoices in favour of electronic ones equals one planted sapling. This year,  near the Chomęcickie lake near Poznań, almost 400 employees of the company with their families as well as the representatives of the Wielkopolski National Park and the Aeris Futuro foundation, planted 2,100 different trees and shrubs, including fruit and melliferous ones, which add value to the fauna of the surrounding areas. It is estimated that the plants will neutralize 1575 tons of CO2 during their life cycle. Raben Group has been running the “e-invoice=higher culture” program since 2014, during which time a total of almost 14,000 trees have been planted.

“We are looking forward to the future with hope.We trust that the joint efforts of companies as well as government bodies and non-governmental organisations will quickly help find solutions which take into account economic, environmental and social aspects of transport. A wider partnership in this field is required. Then we will not just talk about testing climate-friendly vehicles because they will become a standard and will be used on a daily basis.” - summarises Jakub Krzewina. - “But in the meantime we are making Poland green again and we are raising social awareness!” 


[1]The average value, according to different sources and methodologies, is 8-30%; https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions ; https://www.iea.org/statistics/co2emissions/