Food on the Move

Logistics trends in our industry.

Many fleet managers in North America and Europe are facing increasing pressures to have sustainable fleet operations, while simultaneously finding ways to reduce costs, including cutting fuel consumption and maintenance, according to a report by Pike Research.

The research firm states that one way to achieve these goals is to switch from conventional gasoline or diesel vehicles to alternative fuels and propulsion systems. Fleet operators have a wide range of alternative vehicle options available to them, including battery electric, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, compressed natural gas (CNG), and other models, all of which offer different emissions, operational, and cost characteristics.

While these alternative fuel vehicles carry an up-front cost premium, the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the lifetime of the vehicle can be lower than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.

The lowest alternative fuel option for fleet operators in the U.S. is the battery electric vehicle, assuming that the operator is able to claim the $7,500 federal tax credit, according to Pike Research.

The report provides a comparative TCO analysis across various alternative fuel vehicle categories, including: biodiesel, ethanol/flex-fuel, propane/auto-gas, compressed natural gas, stop-start, hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, battery electric, and fuel cell vehicles.

An executive summary of the report is available for download on the firm’s Web site.


Navman Wireless Debuts Temperature Monitoring Solution

Navman Wireless has a new temperature monitoring and tracking solution that will provide managers of refrigerated fleets real-time remote data from all monitoring devices. It’s also designed to help fleet managers ensure that temperature-controlled loads are delivered efficiently, on time, and in acceptable condition.

“Businesses running refrigerated fleets are constantly looking for new ways to maximize fleet efficiency and simplify records, while doing everything possible to ensure temperature-controlled goods remain within set conditions,” said Steve Blackburn, European vice president, Navman Wireless UK. The solution “interfaces with all leading temperature monitoring devices commonly used in refrigerated transport and is suitable for use in refrigerated vans, trucks and trailers. It also enables compliance with all current legislation, including Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP),” he added.


COSCO Shipping Reports $429 Million Q1 Loss

China’s COSCO shipping line reported a net loss of 2.7 billion yuan ($429 million) in the first quarter of this year as a continued supply glut in its bulk carrier business pushed freight rates lower.

The shipping line—which operates the world’s largest bulk cargo fleet and ranks as the fifth-largest global container liner—has also been hit by rising fuel costs and slowing growth in international trade amid an uncertain global economy.

Even worse, a meaningful turnaround following a series of freight rate hikes in COSCO’s container shipping sector was unlikely to offset the losses from dry bulk, analysts said.

The outlook for the remainder of the year is equally choppy. In March, COSCO’s chairman, Wei Jiafu, said that overcapacity coupled with a funding squeeze would continue to put downward pressure on the global shipping industry.


Clean Energy Teams with Waste Pro USA on CNG Fueling Station

Clean Energy has contracted with Waste Pro USA, a solid waste collection, recycling and disposal company, to build, operate and maintain a new CNG fueling station in Fort Pierce, Florida.

In a release dated April 17, Clean Energy said the private time-fill fueling facility will support the company’s new fleet of CNG-powered trash trucks.

Development of the Waste Pro CNG station in Fort Pierce has been permitted, with the opening projected for the early third quarter of 2012. In Phase One of its CNG transition effort, Waste Pro expects to deploy 150 heavy-duty waste collection and recycling trucks to serve residential and commercial customers.

John J. Jennings, president and CEO of Waste Pro, said, “We care about the communities we serve. This move will reduce emissions in our operating footprint and potentially provide fueling stations for the cities and counties we serve.”

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