11 December 2020
AALSMEER, Netherlands: More recently, Aalsmeer-based Verhagen Transport has purchased ten natural gas powered truck combinations. The company’s managing director Ron Verhagen has found in DFG CEO Marco van Zijverden a strong advocate for what is currently considered the cleanest and cheapest fuel for truck transport in Europe.
Verhagen dedicated a lot of his time and energy in studying the various types of road transport and how they could be improved. His research convinced him that it is the industry’s collective responsibility to do something about climate change and make road transport more sustainable.
LNG powered vehicles in combination with 25m ‘superlorries’ allowed the company to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions. “Our vehicles are 25.25m. If they are fully loaded, we are able to realise a massive 35 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions per transported flower cart,” said Verhagen.
Verhagen Transport works with many companies in the horticulture sector, and delivers to customers in the Netherlands and Germany. These include companies that are part of Dutch Flower Group (DFG).
Earlier this year, Verhagen told DFG CEO Marco van Zijverden about the specific investments he had made in making his vehicles more environmentally-friendly. There are over 30 companies in Dutch Flower Group and it places great emphasis on sustainability. “We examine the whole supply chain and see how each link can play its role in creating a better environment,” said Van Zijverden. “By placing a colourful message on the trucks of Verhagen Transport, to show that this is a joint initiative aimed at making horticulture transport more sustainable, we are presenting a clear message: the exporter and transporter have joined forces to serve consumers.”
Contributing to the appeal of LNG fuelled fleet is that a full tank offers an action radius of between 1000 and 1500km. This means the fuel is very well suited to European freight transport.
When Verhagen Transport looks at the total cost of ownership, the arguments in favour of LNG stack up well. Not only is LNG cheaper than other fuels it also reduces CO2 by as much as 35 per cent and emits 53 per cent less particulate matter and less noise.
Highlighting another reason for natural gas, Verhagen said that LNG incentive schemes in the Netherlands and Germany make it extra appealing for transportation companies to use LNG. Verhagen said: “Companies can often be demoralised by all the investments that are needed to improve their performance. However, this is a win-win situation because the fuel, loading possibilities and incentive schemes offer plenty of opportunities. So I urge all transporters, as well as all trading companies, to actively play their role. Of course, this can be done via our organisation, but the main aim is to ensure a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. So I would like to advise and unite all horticulture transporters.”
Verhagen plans to add another 15 LNG fuelled trucks to his fleet in March 2021.