Working in harmony with the environment is part of Toyota’s core global philosophy, extending to all areas of the company’s activity. How this helps achieve intelligent business solutions can be seen in recent developments in Toyota’s UK vehicle logistics operation.
A proportion of the new cars bound for Scotland from Toyota’s Import Centre at the Royal Portbury Docks, near Bristol, is now being shipped by train. Transferring around 150 cars to rail for the 364-mile journey to Mossend saves 18 road transporter journeys every week, helping reduce the overall pollution levels and improve fuel economy associated with Toyota’s car manufacturing and distribution. The move also takes heavy traffic off some of the UK’s most congested roads.
Initial results of the trial rail freight scheme indicate that it works well and is economically viable. The rail link from Portbury was completed last year and the journey time to the Scottish depot is about 24 hours, via Bristol and Crewe.
Operated by Freightliner Heavy Haul, the rail transporters use a double deck system which allows for time-efficient loading and unloading, with larger vehicles being loaded on single deck carriages.
In a separate move, the road fleet of transporters used for distribution is being made more eco-friendly. Toyota has worked with its operating partner Walon to have all its transporters fitted with particulate traps. The cost of buying and retro-fitting this equipment is partly offset by funding through the TransportEnergy CleanUp grants system, part of the Government’s energy saving campaign.
The traps use a filter process to reduce emissions of particulate matter (PM) by up to 95 per cent. They can also cut nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by around 10 per cent. Soot deposits are collected in the trap and burned and the ash debris is cleaned out during routine maintenance.
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