CNG - a readily available alternative to diesel fuel
Goods are moved by our divisions using a variety of different modes and types of transport. By evaluating our carbon footprint figures, we are able to develop and implement targeted measures that allow us to reduce both fuel consumption and energy use. Our carbon efficiency measures have helped continuously reduce fuel consumption in our road transport business. The sharp increase in customer demand within our express business, however, caused a slight rise in fuel consumption in our air transport business. Our fleet modernization efforts are unable to fully offset such effects.
Deutsche Post DHL's road fleet of approximately 80,000 vehicles consists mainly of commercial vehicles classified as either "small commercial vehicles", "light trucks" or "heavy trucks". In 2012, some 4,000 vehicles with innovative, climate-friendly technologies were added to the fleet, thus increasing the fleet's total number of eco-efficient vehicles to 8,500. This development is set to increase in the future. Pilot programs provide valuable insights into the newest technologies and their suitability for use in our operations and help us develop and hone our technology strategy. Our customers also benefit from our innovation expertise, which is directly translated into our range of green products.
Heavy trucks responsible for 4/5 of total fuel use
Heavy trucks, which are used for long-haul transports and known for their fairly low fuel economy, are responsible for the lion's share of road transport emissions. We were able to reduce these emissions by optimizing aerodynamics, modifying engine control systems, using alternative drive systems and fuels and special driver training programs. Our fleet in England, for example, is already fitted with 1,001 aerodynamic "teardrop" trailers; we also intensified the use of natural gas within our US fleet with the investment of 22 natural gas trucks.
Alternative drive systems tested in light trucks
In the short term, the carbon efficiency of light trucks, which are used primarily for regional transports, can be optimized through aerodynamic modifications, the use of fuel-efficient automatic drive systems and by limiting their maximum speed to no more than 85 km/h (in the United Kingdom and Germany). As of the reporting year, these measures were made standard throughout Germany in particular. Alternative technologies such as hybrid or natural gas drive systems, which can be introduced over the medium term for even greater efficiency wins, are currently being developed and tested by Deutsche Post DHL in collaboration with both manufactures and suppliers. One of the highlights in 2012 was the introduction of the world's first "Series Hybrid" truck. The vehicle, with its completely electric drive system that is kept powered by an electricity-generating diesel engine, has helped cut fuel consumption by more than 20 %.
Non-conventional drive systems used in short and medium haul segment
We use small commercial vehicles such as vans predominantly for our pickup and delivery routes. Despite the fact that they make up the largest portion of our fleet, their share in our carbon emissions is comparatively low due to the short distances they travel and their relatively low fuel consumption. Deployed primarily in cities, where reductions in both local emissions and noise are generally expected, the use of green technologies in this particular vehicle segment is an important step in establishing sustainable logistics solutions.
We are therefore intensifying our use of electric delivery vehicles which are ideal for frequent stops and starts particularly for deliveries within Germany and for express deliveries in urban areas. All of our electric vehicles are powered by green electricity. The combination of emissions-free operation and the use of renewable energies makes these vehicles a particularly climate-friendly and sustainable choice. One of the milestones reached in the reporting year was the presentation of an electric-powered commercial vehicle, for our combined delivery service, which was developed with a consortium of small and mid-size suppliers under the direction of RWTH Aachen University. We will start testing a small series of these vehicles in 2013.
For our medium-haul segment, which is covered primarily by our global express business, our efforts are focused on increasing the use of gas-based fuels in our fleets. Biogas produced from waste materials currently shows the greatest potential in this area. We made significant headway in our efforts to expand our environmentally-friendly fleet, with natural gas vehicles being introduced to our networks in Mexico (15 vehicles) and LPG vehicles in the gasoline dominant North American market (100 vehicles).
Road vehicles with alternative drive systems (based on survey)
|CNG (compressed natural gas)/Biogas
|LPG (liquefied petroleum gas)
Our EXPRESS division operates a dedicated air fleet comprising 168 aircraft (previous year: 155). During the reporting year, we continued to increase our intercontinental capability in order to improve the service level offered on the key lanes between Europe, Asia and the Americas. We also rely on the capacities of third-party providers to answer demands.
We operate our aircraft fleet with both economical and ecological aspects in mind. In the United States, for instance, we replaced the old Douglas DC-8s with newer, more fuel-efficient Boeing 767s in the reporting year. In addition, we now deploy two Boeing 747-800s on the high-frequency route between Hong Kong and Cincinnati. This modern and efficient freighter aircraft offers more cargo capacity than similar gauge aircraft and burns significantly less fuel.
Partner management in ocean transports
Our GLOBAL FORWARDING, FREIGHT division, which handles the Group's ocean freight business, continued to develop its Green Carrier Scorecard tool in the reporting year. The Carrier Scorecard provides information on the ocean carriers' environmental performance, including carbon emissions figures, as well as network performance. The Green Carrier Scorecard is an important lever for incorporating environmental aspects into our subcontractor management.