Somerset-based transport company C&D South West has already made significant headway in reducing their carbon footprint by making some dramatic and impactful changes to their operational practices, but a government-backed initiative is helping them lead the way to creating a Carbon Neutral Transport & Logistics Industry.

Since 2012 the Department for Transport has had a trial in place for longer trailers to increase capacity thus reducing the impact on the environment. The operational trial aims to establish if, by using longer semi-trailers the UK could bring about anticipated environmental and economic benefits which could save over 3,000 tonnes of CO₂ with overall economic benefits estimated at £33 million.

The trial involves the testing of longer semi-trailers (LSTs) of 14.6 metres and 15.65 metres in length which must operate within the UK’s existing domestic weight limit (44 tonnes for vehicles of 6 axles).

The trial was originally scheduled to run for a maximum of 10 years from 2012 with a total allocation available of 1,800 LSTs, but in 2017 the government agreed to increase the number of trailers by an additional 1,000 and to extend the trial by 5 years to 2027. This increase will take the number of longer trailers from 1,800 to approximately 2,800.

C&D has been involved in the government trial since 2012, operating multiple LSTs on the company fleet. Further to this continued commitment to the environment involves being a climate positive workforce, investing in the latest transport technology, efficient processes and modern, economical vehicles allowing them to reduce their overall carbon footprint. In addition, every one of their employees are climate positive too, because they offset their entire carbon footprint, including emissions from their home, personal & business travel, holidays, food, hobbies and more.

Lorna Hammond, C&D’s Managing Director said,

“C&D understand that the transport industry is a vital part of the UK economy, and we want to pioneer that change to a greener transport and logistics industry meaning a sustainable future for everyone.

“As operators, it is our belief that we all have our part to play to protect the environment for generations to come and have a responsibility to protect our environment. Being a part of the Department of Transport’s Long Trailer trial demonstrates our commitment to a cleaner and leaner haulage industry, that said, it’s not without its complications.

“While longer trailers mean more goods can be transported in a single journey, we have to adhere to strict guidelines that ensure 100% road safety and compliance. Despite offering an extra 2 metres in length, longer trailers for HGV tractor unit applications are not legally permitted to be heavier than their standard curtain-sider siblings. This is primarily because UK law stipulates that the total gross vehicle weight of the truck, trailer and goods being transported must not exceed 44 tonnes.”

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