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Raben Logistics Czech navigates sustainable logistics – conference for a greener future

2024.06.18

In May 2024 Raben Logistics Czech organized a conference “Sustaiability in Logistics”, in its hypermodern logistis eurohub in Rokycany. During the event academic professionals, representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Czech transport associations together with Raben experts, including Ewald Raben – CEO of Raben Group, had opportunity to exchange they views and present the newest trends.

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Experts identified HVO100 as a top "green logistics" solution. But carbon footprint is also effectively reduced by vehicles that can hold more pallets. For example a truck carrying 27 pallets produces 35 % less CO2e emissions per pallet transported compared to an 18 pallet truck. The panelists also agreed that for a greener operation, it pays off for shippers to use synthetic fuel HVO100, but electromobility will definitely not be the solution for international logistics anytime soon.

"Does it follow from what we have heard, for us laymen, that green does not necessarily mean electric?" asked Jakub Železný, the host of the conference, Director of Raben Logistics Czech & Slovakia, Jakub Trnka during the panel discussion. "The simple answer is yes," said Trnka. His presentation at the conference showed that the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions and their equivalents is through increased transport efficiency: a cityliner truck that can hold 27 pallets was used as a model example, saving 35 % CO2e compared to a conventional 18 pallet truck and a full 63 % CO2e per pallet transported compared to a van.  The so-called road train, or double semi-trailer, is 61 % more CO2e-efficient per pallet than a conventional semi-trailer due to its capacity.

"The fear of large trucks is unjustified, on the contrary, they are more environmentally friendly. In addition, a cityliner with a rear swivel axle will drive better through urban areas, replacing, for example, five vans! This reduces both emissions and potentially the risk of accidents," Trnka added.

Electric mobility is not yet enough for logistics, the HVO100 is better

The various experts agreed that the current potential of electrified trucks is unlikely to be sufficient for longer routes in the foreseeable future, but the aforementioned synthetic fuel from renewable raw materials is a good alternative. Electrified vehicles are already finding long-term use in intralogistics and are also suitable for urban logistics and short-distance transport. Raben Group in Poland already uses electric trucks from Volvo Trucks for this purpose. The conclusions on electromobility were confirmed by professors Petr Jirsák, Ivan Gros and the president of the Czech Logistics Association, Václav Cempírek. The academics also gave their view on the issue of greener transport: "Route planning, limiting reverse journeys or so-called eco-driving are ways to effectively reduce CO2e. We need to train drivers more and lead them towards more economical operation," said Professor Petr Jirsák from the Department of Logistics at the University of Economics.

Truck drivers have prestige in the West, Central Europe lags behind

Another topic discussed was the profession of truck drivers, which is quite crucial for logistics. "In my home country, the Netherlands, it is a prestigious profession, but in Germany and other Central European countries the situation is different. This is mainly due to the different payment conditions," said Ewald Raben, CEO of the Raben Group. "It takes the cooperation of the entire segment and academics to bring about improvements. Even if solutions such as autonomous vehicles already exist in a partial way, in the near future drivers will still be absolutely essential for the smooth running of our entire civilization," added Jakub Trnka.

In Rokycany, the depot provides jobs, logistics centres enable prosperity

"Every Raben Group employee knows where the heart of Europe is in terms of transport and storage. It is Rokycany, which belongs to the network of six Eurohubs enabling fast transport across the continent," said Ewald Raben in his presentation. His words were later followed by the Mayor of Rokycany, Tomáš Rada, who reminded that the town has been an important hub on the trade route between Prague and Pilsen for centuries. He also reminded that logistics centers are extremely important for the running of society and easy access to consumer goods.

The event was a great opportunity to exchange experience and know-how as well as to get the deeper insight into the topic of sustainability from the different perspective. It was an excellent occasion to celebrate the first anniversary of the Eurohub in Rokycany. “Participants have also the possibility to take a ride in an electric truck and try themselves in a VR truck simulator, which perfectly replicates the driving conditions of a truck  and serves in Raben as an innovative tool for driver recruitment and training process.” – added Ewa Chwiłkowska, International Marketing Manager, Raben Group.