Heathrow announces new emission-busting freight tool

Heathrow has revealed new plans for a WebPortal aimed at consolidating freight loads, and decreasing the amount of trucks and emissions on roads around the airport.

Encouraging freight company partners to operate sustainably is one of ten priorities Heathrow has outlined for this year in its new Blueprint to Reduce Emissions, also launched today.

Heathrow’s plans for a freight WebPortal have been announced during the IATA World Cargo Symposium.

Incorporating sustainability into freight is a priority for Heathrow given the impact these operations have on the airport’s local environment. Heathrow is the largest freight port by value in the UK, handling over 1.5 million tonnes of cargo a year. This activity also generates a substantive amount of vehicle movements a day in the Heathrow area for servicing, deliveries and cargo operations, along with their related emissions.

Heathrow’s proposed WebPortal would be the UK’s first geographically specific system of its kind. Subscribed members would exchange and share information about any spare capacity on their vehicles. Once a match has been found, operators could then negotiate a price for this space among themselves.

This Portal, along with measures like providing an off-airport distribution centre, increased monitoring of the use of local roads by freight vehicles, and tighter rules on vehicle licensing will ensure the number of freight vehicles will be maintained at similar levels to today’s in the future and that the lowest emission freight vehicles are encouraged to operate around Heathrow.

Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow said: “Operating a cleaner, leaner and more efficient freight operation is an essential part of delivering on our ambition to be the best airport in Europe for cargo gateway in the world. This WebPortal can deliver for all. Our cargo partners can reduce their costs, our local communities will experience less congestion and improved air quality, and Heathrow will build on its strength as an airport of choice for cargo.”

By collaborating with stakeholders across London, Heathrow say emissions of NOx from the airport have reduced by 16% over 5 years. Heathrow’s Blueprint for Emissions Reduction outlines the top ten actions the airport will be focussing on this year to continue building on this record and reduce emissions further. Besides Heathrow’s work with freight operators, other actions listed in the Blueprint include a new £16.2 million investment in equipment at gates to ensure aircraft don’t run their engines, as well as instituting “eco-driving” training for airside drivers to reduce emissions.

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