31.10.2023 | Haulage

Maritime Transport joins Zero-Emission Demonstrator to drive greener road freight

Integrated road and rail freight logistics specialist announces its role as a key participant in the zero-emission road freight demonstrator (ZERFD), a ground-breaking £200 million investment programme.

The programme, one of the largest funded initiatives by Innovate UK in partnership with the Department for Transport, will see investment across four green projects to roll out up to 370 zero-emission heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), and deliver around 57 refuelling and electric charging sites.

Over the next five years, each project will see real-world trials take place for advanced battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies in HGVs, providing key insights for the government’s long-term infrastructure decisions to make road freight more sustainable and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking part in three out of the four pioneering projects, Maritime will integrate 41 battery electric and two hydrogen fuel cell trucks onto its fleet from 2025, sourced from major vehicle manufacturers. 39 charging stations, capable of delivering up to 400kWh, will also be installed across the Company’s network comprising 40+ transport depots, container storage sites, and eight strategic rail freight terminals. The new vehicles will have a significant role to play in Maritime’s environmental strategy to move more containerised and domestic products by rail, with battery and hydrogen-powered trucks completing first and final-mile deliveries, not only reducing emissions but also, importantly, reducing congestion by removing vehicles from the UK’s road network.

This funding aligns with the government’s commitment to make the right long-term decisions for a brighter future. Decarbonising the freight sector is a key part of building a sustainable future for the industry and achieving our net zero commitments in a fair and pragmatic way that lowers costs, creates jobs, and grows the economy.

Simon Smart, Chief Executive Officer, Maritime Transport:

‘We are excited to play a leading role in the ZERFD programme, which marks a critical step in achieving our sustainability objectives and a monumental stride towards a cleaner, more efficient UK freight industry. Being included in three out of the four projects will allow us to gain valuable knowledge and data across the whole breadth of our operation, and demonstrate our dedication to setting new industry standards for decarbonising our operations and our customers’ supply chains. We look forward to collaborating closely with our partners on each project, and continuing to support our customers in reaching their decarbonisation goals.’

This announcement closely follows the historic arrival of Laura Maersk – the world’s first methanol-enabled container vessel – at DP World London Gateway in September, which saw Maritime deliver one of Maersk’s iconic rainbow containers from London Gateway to its Strategic Rail Freight Interchange at East Midlands Gateway via a HVO-powered train. HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) is a drop-in alternative fuel solution capable of reducing emissions by up to 90%, which all Maritime rail services have the capability to run on.

Richard Holden MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Roads and Local Transport:

‘Freight and logistics are the beating heart of our economy, and it is only right that we celebrate the sector so that it gets the recognition and support it deserves. From boosting zero-emission tech across freight to attracting the future generation of talent to the industry, we are working hard to drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy by building a brighter, more innovative future for one of our most crucial industries.’

Indro Mukerjee, CEO, Innovate UK:

As the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK is committed to supporting innovative UK businesses working to decarbonise the UK’s road freight industry. Together with the Department for Transport, the £200 million in government funding will develop world-leading battery and hydrogen trucks and demonstrate, at a large scale, creating greener jobs and boosting our net zero economy.’

Maritime TP Terminal