Reducing the carbon footprint

The AirRoad Group, which began operating in 1989, is a private Australian owned company, specialising in the transport of high technology products and associated 3PL services but has blue chip clients across a variety of industry sectors.

AirRoad’s chief engineer Michael Egan says there are many things that can be done in the transport industry to reduce carbon emissions and implement sustainable technologies. Egan has been designing AirRoad’s trailers for nearly a decade. Long before debate on carbon trading and carbon management was on the political agenda he was designing freight-friendly trailers with increased efficiency, including larger cubic capacity while remaining within the B-double and B-triple parameters.

Safety and stability are also key considerations in Egan’s designs, which include independent suspension of AirRoad’s own design, creating lower centre of gravity and the ability to split a pantechnicon trailer into two decks.

The two decks significantly reduce freight compaction during long distance journeys and over less desirable roads. This has a positive impact in relation to freight and carton damage resulting in significantly less damaged freight and is evident in AirRoad’s externally audited Delivery In Full On Time, which is the main business objective.

Initially the trailers were designed and built purely to reduce running costs and provide clients with cost savings. One AirRoad prime mover carries 35 – 50 per cent more freight in cubic capacity, using the same amount of fuel.

This trailer design also gives drivers better stability on the road. Coupled with the ability to carry more freight than other trailers, it leads to better fuel economy per tone of freight – a plus for the environment and driver safety. While originally AirRoad trailer designs were not motivated by climate change or carbon trading schemes they certainly contribute solutions to this new and increasingly important management consideration.

More and more companies are intentionally choosing suppliers who help them reduce their overall carbon footprint. AirRoad is certainly in line to be one of the preferred transport companies in the supply chain service industry.

Egan is taking an engineering approach to the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including the benefits of best management practices, operational improvements and further advanced technologies in future trailer designs.

Corporate and social responsibility is a key part of AirRoad’s business practice and the company’s proactive carbon reduction initiatives are just one example of this.