Carrefour will replace diesel with biomethane for trucks delivering at night in big cities. Some of the gas will be produced with biomass from the shops.
For ten years, the Carrefour group has tested most vehicle configurations that reduced the environmental footprint of its urban deliveries, notably through duClub Demeter Environment and Logistics.
Jean-Philippe Mazet, Transportation Director of Carrefour France, announced during a demonstration of delivery organized November 2, 2015 by the Club Demeter Carrefour Market in Maubeuge street in Paris that: In five cities (Lille, Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Marseille), “Night deliveries will be gradually carried out by vehicles labelled Piek which are certified vehicle engines running on biogas,”. A dozen vehicles of this type are already circulating today; fifty will be commissioned in early 2016 and within three years, all 250 city’s stores will be receiving deliveries from 200 vehicles running on biogas
Fifty carriers involved
Jean-Philippe Mazet insists that it is no longer an experiment but an operational deployment which will embark fifty recipients with whom longer contracts will be concluded in order to take into account the depreciation period for new hardware.
The Transport Director of Carrefour France considers that with a lower cost of use, despite the higher cost of fuel, equipment will be amortized over a period of 5 years under the same conditions as a Diesel vehicle. Except … Carrefour will help produce some of this fuel by delivering organic waste from its stores to biogas plants as part of a network that today tends to be expanding in France.
The balance sheet of provision of biomass / gas production will not be fully balanced, but Jean-Philippe Mazet explains that experimentation in Lille has demonstrated that 3 hypermarkets have been delivered integrally with the gas from their own waste.
The Vehicle configuration will continue to evolve
The vehicle’s autonomy (350 km to 400 km) is now sufficient to support the activity of a 19 t vehicle (GVW) for one day, says the Transport Director of Carrefour France, noting that manufacturers believe they can arrive fast enough to an autonomy of 700 km to 800 km in between two fill-ups.
Excluding the choice of biogas, the vehicle configuration delivering the brand stores still needs to evolve. The vehicle used for the demonstration in Paris was delivering fresh products. This was a carrier from Transport Perrenot, which had a van that was under a controlled temperature and cooled by an expansion group of liquid nitrogen, therefore without using a thermal engine. However, Jean-Philippe Mazet explains that this choice is not final. Other technical solutions are considered like the use of a device allowing using the truck engine, for the cooling unit, which is quieter.
Of course the other elements of the environmental impact cannot be forgotten. According to Jean-Philippe Mazet, one truck running on biogas saves 100 tons of CO² per year
The Carrefour group seeks to lower the noise level of its urban deliveries in order to better negotiate with municipalities to implement new stores within the city centre. This is indeed a strategic issue for most retailers, since the land available for retail space in city centres is becoming more scarce and competition for access is fierce.
Carrefour today aims at a qualification “Certibruit” for all its urban delivery chain (shops and transport system). This label, provided by Cemafroid based on PIEK standard, is now an essential viaticum to convince cities to accept deliveries at night (between 22 pm and 7 am).With regards to the Crossroads transport plan, this guides the whole environmental approach concerning in particular the decrease in the emission of greenhouse gases and fine particles.