Kuehne+Nagel adds first dedicated LNG trucks & first Volvos to UK fleet
Global logistics provider Kuehne+Nagel has put eight new Volvo FH Globetrotter LNG tractors into 24/7 operation on two major contracts with Whitbread and Costa, as part of a drive to reduce emissions and improve the sustainability of its transport operations.
Their arrival marks the first Volvos to enter service in Kuehne+Nagel’s UK fleet, following the firm’s participation in the Innovate UK-funded ‘Dedicated to Gas’ project. This evaluated the viability of Euro 6 natural gas heavy goods vehicles as an alternative to diesel and demonstrated their potential to unlock significant CO2 savings and reduce running costs.
Supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia, the 6×2 pusher-axle tractors feature 155 kg LNG tanks and benefit from Volvo’s 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission, which helps to maximize fuel efficiency. The specification also includes the latest generation I-See predictive cruise control system, which analyses the topography to optimize speed and gear changes.
The new trucks will pull temperature-controlled double-deck trailers on national trunking routes from the customer’s Wellingborough regional distribution center (RDC) to sites in Avonmouth, London and Manchester. Each vehicle is expected to cover 125,000 miles per year, with refueling taking place using an on-site facility operated by Air Liquide.
“We’d previously run dual fuel trucks for seven years, but it was our involvement in the ‘Dedicated to Gas’ trials which confirmed that LNG was the right approach to take. We’re projecting an initial 20% reduction in CO2 emissions on these routes using standard LNG, with the intention of moving quickly to bio-LNG to increase this reduction to at least 80% in the near future,” said Andrew Blake, National Distribution Manager at Kuehne+Nagel.
Volvo’s approach to natural gas stands out for using compression-ignition technology which relies upon small amounts of diesel to initiate ignition of the air-fuel mixture. This enables the Volvo G13C engine to deliver the same 460hp and 2,300 Nm of torque as its diesel-only counterpart, with matching service intervals and reliability. These engines also provide secondary vehicle retardation thanks to the patented Volvo Engine Brake.
“From an engineering perspective we have absolute confidence in Volvo’s natural gas powertrain to deliver the performance we need in an intensive around-the-clock, 44-ton application,” added Blake.