In line with Deutsche Post DHL’s Strategy 2020, which emphasises green business solutions and carbon efficiency improvements, the company has been busy converting its fleets to LNG-powered. We caught up with Patrick Boone, Vice President of Road Network Europe, DHL to find out more:
What were the key drivers in converting your fleets to LNG?
There were three key drivers in converting our fleet to LNG:
- Environmental – LNG offers at the same time low local emissions in terms of local air quality and also, when mixed with bio-LNG, high savings potential towards global emissions in terms of climate protection.
- Operational – By being in a liquid state, LNG offers higher driving ranges in comparison to gaseous fuels. This makes the fuel a valid operational competitor to diesel in the CO2 and cost intensive line haul segment.
- Cost – With an adequate gap between the price of LNG and diesel, LNG can offer potential cost benefits over standard diesel in the mid to long term run.
What was the importance of this in terms of your Corporate Social Responsibility policy?
As the first global logistics company, DHL has set itself a target to improve its CO2 efficiency until 2020 by 30%. In road transportation approximately 80% of the groups’ emissions are generated by trucks, even though they only account for approximately 20% of our fleet. This is because of the higher specific fuel consumptions and mileages of trucks in comparison to delivery vehicles. LNG and especially bio-LNG offers significant potentials to reduce CO2 emissions in this fleet segment. Therefore it can contribute to achieving our environmental targets and reduce our carbon footprint towards our customers.
In terms of LNG consumption, how much would you imagine a fleet like DHLs would require to run
This is a difficult question to answer but the global annual diesel consumption of DP-DHL’s own fleet is approximately 430 million litres.
What were the biggest challenges in converting to a LNG fuelled fleet?
Having a limited availability of suitable Euro 6 LNG vehicles was a big challenge. Currently there is a low residual value of LNG trucks in comparison to diesel, and limited fuel infrastructure throughout Europe, which is difficult. A temporary challenge is the diesel price drop, which reduces savings and amortisation potential of LNG trucks.