Blogs, topical advice, and thoughts from experienced logistics industry advisers

FTA is pleased to welcome Goldstar Heathrow, WH Barley Transport and Storage Ltd, Brett’s Transport Ltd, Total Produce and John Raymond Transport Ltd to the LCRS. It’s fantastic that the scheme is continuing to grow.  We currently have 131 LCRS members accounting for over 88,181 commercial vehicles. If you would like to join the scheme, visit our LCRS page for more details.

Call for 2016 data

Thank you to all who have already submitted their 2016 data, the deadline for your submissions is 31st August 2017. If you have any problems or queries please don’t hesitate to contact Becki Terry.

LCRS review launch

The seventh edition of the Logistics Carbon review was launched on the 6 July. The report revealed members have achieved an impressive 7% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2010. In 2016, we asked LCRS members to provide their Euro standard breakdown for their vehicle fleet, interestingly this revealed over 35% of their HGVs are already Euro VI. Members continue to significantly outperform industry as a whole, achieving a 12% reduction in emissions overall per km. Read more here.

The Committee on Climate Change’s report released

FTA says Government must support Freight sector in order to hit carbon reduction targets. Read more here.

Clean Air Zones – update on cities to restrict pre-Euro VI vehicles

FTA has carried out further analysis of the Government’s air quality plan which was launched at the end of July. This plan confirmed that in addition to London and the first 5 (Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton) there are 23 additional local authorities across the UK that will be required to introduce a CAZ or an alternative that has an equivalent effect.

FTA’s analysis suggests that the most likely outcome now is that Sheffield, Middlesbrough, Bath, Greater Manchester, Bristol, Coventry and Newcastle will have CAZs affecting commercial vehicles by the end of 2020.

Vehicles entering the CAZs will need to be Euro VI/6, any non-compliant vehicles will be charged, but not banned. FTA estimates the charges could be £20 per day for vans and £100 per day for HGVs.
FTA are now engaging with the named local authorities to assist them in the development of their plans. Further details will come as local council develop their plans, all insights gained will be discussed at Freight Councils and comprehensive session will be devoted to this at the Transport Manager conferences this autumn.

FTA Meetings in Brussels on CO2 standards for trucks

Together with manufacturers, the Commission has developed a computer simulation tool, VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool), to measure CO2 emissions from new vehicles. At the end of May 2017, the European Commission introduced draft legislation which would require CO2 emissions from new HDVs to be certified, reported and monitored, building on its VECTO tool. The intention was to allow road operators to obtain better information on the CO2 performance of new vehicles at the point of purchase. The European Commission is also considering setting standards on CO2 emissions and fuel consumption reduction for heavy goods vehicles in the first half of 2018. These standards would essentially set mandatory limits on average CO2 emissions from newly registered heavy-duty vehicles, as is currently done for vans.

In view of these recent developments, FTA recently met with Transport & Environment (T&E), a leading NGO in Brussels, active on all matters related to the impact of transport on the environment (including climate policy and air quality). This meeting allowed us to gather more intelligence regarding T&E’s views on CO2 standards for trucks, and related climate issues for road transport. T&E feels that the computer simulation tool VECTO (Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool), which has been largely designed by truck manufacturers and will allow for the measurement of a truck’s CO2 performance, is not transparent enough and too restrictive in terms of the types of technologies covered. These concerns have been largely shared by trade associations representing road transport operators, including FTA. We will discuss possible joint activities in this field with T&E and other associations from across Europe. The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the merits of adopting CO2 standards for trucks, something that T&E has been advocating vocally in Brussels.

FTA also met with the team in charge of future legislative proposals on CO2 emissions for trucks. Now that the European Commission has produced a certification tool (with VECTO), and that a proposal on monitoring and reporting of CO2 emissions is out (it was released as part of the Mobility Package in May 2017), the European Commission’s attention is turning to the development of CO2 standards for new heavy duty vehicles. Results from the CE Delft study commissioned by DG CLIMA should be made available in October 2017. FTA had contributed to the study, with several contributions from members of its environment working group. The study will underpin the impact assessment that will precede the publication of a legal proposal on CO2 standards for new heavy duty vehicles, due to be published around June 2018 (with an updated set of CO2 standards for vans due to be published in November 2017).

A public consultation is in preparation and should be launched in the Autumn 2017, potentially complemented with a stakeholders workshop. The European Commission is likely to come up with different targets for each class of vehicles defined in the VECTO tool, and could even set different standards based on the utility factor of a given class, or the usage of a vehicle (long distance v. short distance). FTA will share any new intelligence with members and will consult members once the consultation questionnaire has been published.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 21/08/2017 09:36:36 by Global Administrator | with 1 comments

Freight Carbon Review

As 2016 draws to a close, FTA awaits the Department for Transport's Freight Carbon Review response. Earlier this year, Government conducted an in-depth study into how the freight sector can contribute to reducing carbon emissions by 2032. FTA was heavily involved in the review and submitted a detailed response to officials which relied on crucial evidence from the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme. The scheme shows that year on year, companies that join the LCRS perform better when it comes to carbon reduction than industry as a whole. We look forward to seeing the recommendations from Government and hope that we can continue to work with the Department on boosting opportunities for freight to decarbonise.

Funding for greener trucks

The Low Carbon Truck Trial drew to a close this year and we await the final report from the trial which will examine the results and conclude what carbon savings were made from utilising gas and used cooking oil in trucks. The trial supported thirteen projects helping to fund over 350 trucks and around 20 refuelling stations.
In order to invest in greener fuels and technologies our sector needs support due to higher costs and lack of infrastructure. In early 2017, we will see the announcement of winning applications for grants from a 24 million fund for low emission logistics projects.

New Government Emissions Reduction Plan

We await a new Emissions Reduction Plan from Government by the end of the year. This will replace the Carbon Plan of 2011. This plan covers every sector and all Government departments and brings together policy thinking on how the UK will meet its greenhouse gas reduction targets. It will certainly make interesting reading and will give us a good indication of what is expected from the freight sector.


FTA continues to promote the LCRS supported by Industry Partner: Bridgestone UK Ltd. It is a free voluntary initiative to record, report and reduce carbon emissions. If you have not already joined, find out more.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 06/12/2016 14:03:47 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

Helping industry decarbonise

Never has there been more pressure on the road freight industry to focus on reducing carbon emissions and helping to improve air quality. The Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) is a unique collaboration between Cambridge and Heriot Watt Universities and the freight industry to help make road freight economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Set up in 2012 with a major five-year grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Centre has developed a comprehensive research programme.

FTA is a consortium member of the SRF and recently took part in the Centre’s first press briefing alongside other partners to publicise the success of the programme to date. The event provided an insight into the Centre’s research and its impact on helping industry to decarbonise. As research is set by consortium members, the Centre seeks to answer the relevant questions that industry needs to know. Projects have focused on aerodynamics, dual-fuel HGV research and eco-driver training to name but a few.

The SRF has also launched a web-based support tool to help operators decide on the best measures to save fuel and carbon emissions within their fleet. Known as the SRF Optimiser, it is free to use and models the effects of 29 carbon reduction measures including driver behaviour, use of aerodynamics and using alternative fuels. The tool aims to give tailored advice to operators whatever their size of fleet. It will also complement FTA's Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme.

As the Department for Transport (DfT) plans to publish its Freight Carbon Review by the end of the year, it is great to have a research centre exclusively focused on projects to assess how freight can decarbonise.

Find out more information about the SRF
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 22/11/2016 14:28:15 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

Monthly engineering blog sponsored by Texaco.

While ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association) has yet to publish its next level specification requirements, future legislation is likely to demand better fuel efficiency to meet more stringent emissions controls. One way to make an engine more fuel efficient is to make it more thermally efficient, but what are the potential issues surrounding this development?

When an engine runs at a hotter temperature, so does the oil lubricating it, making protection more challenging. To combat this, next generation lower High Temp High Shear products will need to tread a fine line between the legislator’s desire for improvements in fuel economy and the levels of component protection and long engine life expected by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) and operators.

In addition, oils with lower High Temp High Shear viscosity, open up concerns about backwards compatibility in older engines.

With PC-11 coming into force in North America at the end of 2016 are we likely to see the introduction of two diesel engine oil standards at the same time as per API CK-4 and FA-4? Commercial Marketing Manager at Chevron, Dave Spence, thinks that is unlikely but a new lower High Temp High Shear specification will be added. “Oil compatibility issues will require fleet managers to be more knowledgeable than with past categories. We are likely to see an increased fragmentation of oil types, necessitating stricter adherence to OEM recommendations than in previous generations.”

But, says Spence, “while this may appear confusing initially, it brings with it greater opportunities than ever before to lower costs and emissions by sourcing the right product for individual applications.”

To find out more on Texaco visit
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 12/09/2016 14:50:12 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments

LCRS receives endorsement from Transport Minister

Transport Minister Andrew Jones MP has expressed support for FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS). The scheme is a great way for members to reduce both fuel and carbon. The Minister notes that “LCRS members are making significantly better progress in reducing emissions than the industry as a whole.” Over the last few months, FTA has been responding to Government’s Freight Carbon Review which is assessing how our industry is reducing carbon emissions. The Minister added that “we remain committed to working with the sector to identify industry-led solutions to reducing carbon emissions” which is great news for members. Read the letter here.

The Minister was writing in response to receiving the FTA’s Logistics Carbon Review 2016 (incorporating the sixth annual report of the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme).

If you haven’t joined the LCRS and are looking to reduce fuel and carbon, you can find out more here. 

HGV Accreditation Scheme to help save fuel and carbon

Adopting operational efficiency measures is crucial for any operator to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon. FTA is supporting a new programme developed by LowCVP that can boost the introduction of lower carbon, fuel saving commercial vehicle technology.

The initiative aims to help operators that currently don’t have a ‘go-to’ source of reliable and impartial information about low carbon, fuel saving retrofit technologies.

An accurate and representative procedure has been developed so that equipment manufacturers or vehicle operators can conduct independent tests to validate the impact on fuel consumption and emissions of their retrofit technology for hgvs and vans – such as low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic additions, or engine efficiency technology.

It’s been developed with support from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Department for Transport and key partners include Horiba Mira, Millbrook, TRL, Michelin, Stobart Group, Mercedes Truck, Transport for London and Transport KTN.

By giving our members confidence to invest in technologies that have been independently tested and proven to deliver fuel savings, the accreditation scheme has the potential to help the sector to contribute to climate change targets and reduce air pollutants.

RiverRidge Recycling, NI's First Organisation commits to Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme

Waste management company, RiverRidge Recycling, has become Northern Ireland's first company to join FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS) demonstrating its commitment to reducing carbon from road freight.

Stephen Thompson, Transport Manager at RiverRidge Recycling comments, ‘RiverRidge Recycling is extremely proud to be the first Northern Ireland company to join the LCRS. Not only is this a great achievement, but it is a great testament to how strongly we value our Corporate Social Responsibility. Our fleet covers most of Northern Ireland and we acknowledge the carbon emissions created by our road vehicles. This initiative will help us to achieve carbon reduction in the most innovative and efficient way possible.'

It’s great to have RiverRidge Recycling’s support for the LCRS and I would encourage other organisations to join the scheme. This will help them to manage their freight carbon emissions whilst ensuring that we can continue to take a voluntary approach to carbon reduction without the need for Government regulation.
(The views and opinions expressed by the authors of these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Freight Transport Association)

Posted: 02/09/2016 15:05:20 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments