Utveckling av idékoncept för miljöanpassade vägtransporter i intermodala transportkedjor – en förstudie – UVIM

Development of an idea concept for environmentally adapted road transports in intermodal transport chains – a pre study

For many years, a long-term ambition has been to reduce the environmental impact of transports by increasing the proportion of freight transported intermodally. Often overlooked factors when creating environmentally sustainable intermodal transport chains has been lorry transports. In this area there is a clear potential for improvements in terms of vehicle design (alternative drive systems and fuels) and distribution arrangement for intermodal freight. The connecting lorry transport conducted within intermodal transports has distinct similarities with distribution traffic since both are characterised by a large number of starts and stops. Compared to other lorry transports, intermodal ones are relatively short and usually contains a large number of stops for picking up and leaving cargo/load carriers. Furthermore, intermodal terminals are often relatively centrally located, which is why connecting lorry transports often are conducted in urban/suburban areas. From an energy perspective, it is also more advantageous to use alternative drive systems in short connecting transports compared to long-distance, depending on a larger number of starts and stops (e.g.. at traffic lights, loading and unloading) and lower average speed, which all-in-all induce lower average power demand. TFK has for a long time worked with issues related to lorry distribution, in particular within urban areas. The research has been focused on organisational issues such as coordination of goods flows, and new vehicle types that facilitates and streamlines distribution of various types of goods. In previous work on intermodal transports carried out by TFK and others, it has been found that lorry traffic accounts for a high share of both costs and environmental impact of intermodal transport chains. Length restrictions for road vehicles in all major Swedish cities, usually 10 or 12 meters, means that the length of the loadings surface is limited to 8 and 10 meters respectively. This is why intermodal cargo sometimes must be transhipped into smaller load carriers before being distributed which is not desirable. The aim of the pre-study is to perform a conceptually oriented study in which the future requirements for a sustainable road vehicle platform for transporting intermodal freight carriers in an intermodal transport chain is specified. An intention is furthermore to develop a concept comprising an environmentally friendly vehicle platform based on previous vehicle design solutions for road transport, including distributing intermodal load carriers in urban areas. The platform of this project is expected to consist of towing and towed vehicles which are expected to constitute essential elements of a sustainable transport system for intermodal load carriers on road. Overall, the project is expected to highlight and quantify the potential for environmental improvement and economic efficiency of intermodal transport chains with a new vehicle concept. This is done by improving the environmentally weakest link in intermodal transport chains, the connecting road transport, with significantly improved environmental performance. The intended vehicles will be more suitable for conveying and distributing freight and load carriers in urban areas. This is intended to be done by using alternative propulsion systems and/or alternative fuels. Of importance is also to study and monitor international developments in the field to ensure that the system can deal with load carriers used in international traffic.