More efficient road transport

With a fleet of more than 92,000 vehicles worldwide, we offer the full spectrum of transportation services – from short-range and medium-range delivery, to regional and long haul transport with heavy trucks. For more efficient and environmentally friendly transport we need to apply operationally suitable solutions that are tailored to the varying demands and requirements of our vehicles. We therefore depend on a diverse range of measures based on factors such as vehicle type, utilization and route to maximize potential efficiency gains.

Deutsche Post DHL Group vehicle fleet in 2016

Deutsche Post DHL Group vehicle fleet in 2016

Fuel use for road transportation¹

Fuel use for road transportation

Despite a continued increase in transport volumes, at 1.15 million tonnes, the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our vehicle fleets in 2016 remained stable at the previous year’s level. This positive development can be attributed to our efficiency measures. The consumption of liquid fuels totaled 449.8 million liters, remaining at the previous year’s level; the consumption of gaseous fuels totaled 1.9 million kilograms.

Modern road fleet for improved air quality

Road transport generates not only greenhouse gas emissions but local air pollutants as well, including mono-nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM10). Minimizing these local air pollutants has become an increasingly important environmental challenge in the area of road transport – not least because of the low-emission zones (LEZ) established by many cities today, which permit access to low-emission vehicles only.

For this reason we continuously upgrade and renew our fleet in accordance with the latest emission standards. Today, more than 48,000 of our road vehicles in Europe already meet Euro 5 or Euro 6 standards. Our use of electric vehicles, natural-gas powered vehicles and fuel efficiency technologies also has a positive impact on the emission of local air pollutants.

Threshold limits for air pollutants

Threshold limits for air pollutants

Vehicles by emission class in 2016

Vehicles by emission class in 2016

As a way to help improve local air quality, one of our goals for 2025 is to operate 70% of our own first and last mile services with clean pick-up and delivery solutions. This also includes fully or partially zero emission solutions, such as delivery on foot, by bicycle or by electric vehicle, with e-mobility solutions ranging from all-electric drives for short distances to plug-in hybrids and fuel cells for longer range operations. These measures also contribute to minimizing noise pollution in urban areas.

Efficiency projects for the road vehicle fleet

We implement a wide range of measures to improve the carbon efficiencyA ratio index used by Deutsche Post DHL Group to manage the greenhouse gas emissions of its business operations, whereby emissions resulting from fuel and energy consumption are assessed in relation to services rendered (e.g. quantities/volumes of letters, parcels, pallets or containers). of our road fleet – measures which also help reduce fuel consumption. Solutions here focus mainly on aerodynamics, eco-chiptuning technologies and lightweight vehicle design, but also include measures such as low-rolling resistance tires and telematics. All measures are first tested for their effectiveness before being rolled out on a larger scale.

Efficiency-enhancing technologies in the road fleet¹

Efficiency-enhancing technologies in the road fleet

Along with technical modifications made to conventional fuel vehicles, we have also increased our efforts to deploy alternative drive technologies and alternative fuels as a way to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. This includes mainly electric and natural gas powered vehicles for short distances, as well as sustainably produced, advanced generation biofuels for long-haul transport. Out of about 92,000 of our own road vehicles deployed worldwide, we have already enhanced approximately 20,500 vehicles with over 25,600 technical modifications – with several different modifications often made to a single vehicle.

A detailed overview of individual efficiency measures as well as a multi-year overview can be found in the Annex of this report.

In the reporting year we tested and evaluated new technologies for future deployment. As in the previous year, one of our main focus areas was on deployment of low-emission drive technologies (“burn clean”) for our urban mail and parcel delivery services. We reached a number of milestones with our own electric delivery vehicle, the StreetScooter:

  • Our subsidiary StreetScooter GmbH expanded its production capacity and, in August 2016, produced its one-thousandth StreetScooter vehicle. In all, we have already deployed more than 2,000 StreetScooters in our mail and parcel delivery operations in Germany. We will reach a production capacity of up to 10,000 units a year in 2017.
  • In 2016 we also launched production of the “Work L” model – the long version of our tried-and-tested StreetScooter. The “Work L” features significantly greater load capacity with eight cubic meters of loading space (standard model: 4.3 cubic meters) and a maximum vehicle load capacity of 1,000 kilograms (standard model: 710 kilograms).
  • StreetScooters are part of our operations in other European countries as well; additional StreetScooters were deployed in the Netherlands in the reporting year.

We also implemented a number of innovative measures in 2016 in line with our commitment to “burn less”:

  • In Europe we established minimum technology standards for newly acquired trucks. These include maximum speed limiters, automatic motor switch-off when idling, tires with low roll resistance, as well as aerodynamically formed swap bodies.
  • In the Express division we introduced a commitment to using electric vehicles for short hauls (up to 100 kilometers) and natural gas powered vehicles for long hauls in Europe whenever economically and operationally feasible. In addition to this, all newly acquired vehicles were fitted with speed limiting and engine shut-off systems, low-rolling resistance tires and telematics.
  • The Supply Chain division in Asia Pacific fitted numerous vehicles with telematics systems, including 400 vehicles in Thailand, 75 in Japan, 40 in New Zealand and ten in China. The pilot phase was successfully completed in Australia (130 vehicles) and India (15 vehicles), with regular operations planned for 2017.