Green Logistics – Insights into Alternative Transport Options

Steyr near Linz – REICHHART Logistik was part of an event on the topic of ‘Alternative Transport Options’, which was organized by the association Netzwerk Logistik Österreich. Several top logistics service providers came together to participate in the discussion on different concepts. Among them was Georg Berberich, Head of Fleet Technology and Deputy Head of Transport Logistics at REICHHART.

With his talk, 'Sustainable Transport Logistics - Biomethane Field Report', he provided inspiring insights into the field of green logistics. After a general overview of the topic of sustainability in transport logistics, Mr. Berberich emphasized the need for different ways of decarbonizing. These include, for example, professional fleet management or emission-free drive technologies, including the use of biomethane.

Biomethane Drive at REICHHART

REICHHART Logistik has been continuously working on the available technologies for alternative drive systems since 2005. Since then, the activities have been gradually expanded, from the first trials with biodiesel between 2006 and 2008 to practical tests with CNG trucks in the period from 2015 to 2020. With the development and growing availability of biomethane, REICHHART was finally able to switch from fossil LNG to biomethane.

For the use of the biomethane-powered trucks, only agricultural residues are used, such as straw from grain cultivation, which would otherwise simply be chopped and incorporated in the field. To illustrate the enormous potential: The unused straw residues that accumulate in Germany every year alone would make it possible to operate around 200,000 heavy trucks. That's almost half of the stock of all 12+ ton trucks.

At REICHHART, biomethane trucks are used, among other things, in special aviation transports, in factory transport, and in distribution logistics. For example, about 25% of the mileage for the logistics company's largest customer has already been decarbonized thanks to the use of biomethane trucks. A further expansion is already being implemented.

Challenges and Future Prospects

Biomethane drives are currently the most mature climate-neutral technology in the truck sector. The basic economic efficiency of biomethane trucks is comparable to diesel drives. However, external and operational hurdles must be overcome during implementation. Not only customers but also drivers and dispatchers have to be convinced of the project. The CO2 surcharge on the toll and the long approval procedures can also be unsettling.  

Nevertheless, REICHHART Logistik has already succeeded in realizing functioning and reliable CO2-neutral transports at economical prices. The fact that sometimes the extra mile must be gone to successfully master the above-mentioned challenges does not deter Berberich at all, on the contrary. He emphasizes: "We need a solution for CO2-neutral transport now and today - and not in 5 or 10 years."