Deployment of zero-emission trucks for network trips. How can this be accomplished?

Shippers outsource a great deal of transport to carriers. These carriers organise their routes as efficiently as possible, which often involve a single truck with a full load carrying out multiple trips for different shippers on a single day. A defining feature of this type of network transport is the varying wishes and requirements of the shipper. Increasingly, these requirements focus on vehicle emissions. These may be legal requirements (such as environmental zones) or customer requirements (such as the CO2 footprint of the transport). In principle, zero-emission (ZE) trucks can help meet these requirements, but it is difficult to recharge batteries on network trips due to the unpredictability of the route and work location.

Topsector Logistiek commissioned CE Delft to investigate the options that exist for the long-term deployment of zero-emission trucks on network trips. In this context, we met four times with more than 20 shippers and carriers to discuss their ideas about the deployment of ZE trucks on network trips.

Based on the data collected, we conclude that the charging infrastructure available is too limited to deploy ZE trucks on network trips in the short term. However, this does not mean that no steps can be taken yet. The key is to start on a small scale: short distances and/ or fixed routes on which a truck shuttles back and forth. Charging infrastructure can be developed for these trips, which will later need to be made available at many locations for network trips. In addition, in order to take the first steps toward zero-emission transport, a good cooperative relationship between the shipper and carrier is crucial. We have elaborated on what this involves in our report.

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