High capacity transport –reduced costs and lower emissions
Höganäs is a producer of metal powders and transports around 36 containers weighing up to 26-tonnes every day from Höganäs to the port of Helsingborg. This amounts to 9,000 truck journeys each year with conventional trucks. Höganäs decided to trial Longer Heavier Vehicles (LHVs) to reduce the number of trips, emissions and road congestion.
Together with Volvo Trucks, a trailer manufacturer and its logistics company, Höganäs trialled a solution to transport two 26-tonne containers along the 30km route using a23m long customised Volvo FH16 truck that can handle a gross weight of 74 tonnes. The cooperation began with a special permit from Trafikverket (the Swedish Transport Administration) as a pilot in April 2016. Trafikverket then permanently approved the use of trucks with a gross weight of 74 tonnes in February 2020.
“The pilot has demonstrated that we can transport twice as many containers with each trip – to reduce fuel and emissions by 35 percent, as well as traffic congestion,” says Johan Walther, Supply Chain Manager at Höganäs. “LHVs can really benefit companies such as ours that carry heavy loads and don’t have immediate access to rail or sea transport.”
The LHV truck also uses Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO), which is a renewable diesel alternative that reduces CO2 by 90 percent.
A growing LHV fleet
Höganäs and its haulage partner are now assessing different truck manufacturers to procure a second LHV, with plans for a third truck in early 2021.
“Our LHV truck currently makes five runs per day and transports 25 percent of our containers, so we believe we can transport all our containers with four LHV trucks instead of the eight conventional trucks we previously used,” explains Walther. “This would potentially halve the number of truck journeys we make each year to around 4,500.”
A shared business model
Höganäs contracts local road haulage companies that lease their vehicles from truck manufacturers and has developed a business model that benefits both Höganäs and the hauler.
“We used a cost calculation to work out the financial savings from using high capacity transport compared with conventional trucks, and then we share the savings with the hauler,” says Walther. “This creates value for both companies while reducing fuel use and emissions.”
Investigating more high capacity transport opportunities
Following the success of using LHVs on the Helsingborg route, Höganäs is now investigating using High Capacity Transport (HCT) on the 70km route between its production plant in Halmstad to Höganäs. Trafikverket approved a truck weight increase to 74 tonnes in October 2020 that will allow between 20 and 25 percent more material to be transported in bulk and in storage bins.
“The approval means we can transport up to five storage bins per journey instead of four,” says Torsten Kielersztajn, Freight Manager at Höganäs. “There is also potential to increase our bulk transport per truck.”
Optimising global export
Höganäs works with international freight companies to find the most efficient and low-carbon transport solutions to its customers. The company promotes intermodal transport solutions and is looking for ways to replace truck movement with rail or sea. Around two-thirds of Höganäs’ exports leave Sweden in containers that allow intermodal transport.
“Orders and shipments are always planned to be maximized on weight,” says Kielersztajn. “In order to optimise the weight a special pallet has been designed which makes it possible to fit 24 one-tonne pallets in each container.”
Another ongoing project has involved working with direct shipments from the company’s site in Wales to China, South Korea and the US instead of shipping through Sweden. “Such smarter logistics solutions enable us to reduce CO2 emissions and also reduce transport costs,” says Walther.