We spotted this article in the Surrey Chambers of Commerce weekly newsletter and thought it was worth sharing.
A New Blueprint for Sustainable Freight issued by Heathrow outlines practical steps the airport proposes to take to address the impacts of freight vehicles around Heathrow whilst continuing to increase cargo volumes
- The Blueprint shows Heathrow is delivering on its pledge to be a sustainability leader and a better neighbour to local communities
- Plans announced by Lord Deighton at the British Chambers of Commerce International Trade Summit
Speaking at the BCC International Trade Summit today, Heathrow’s Non-Executive Chairman Lord Deighton announced a new ten step Blueprint for Sustainable Freight plan to reduce the impact of freight vehicles around Heathrow. Lord Deighton’s speech is the first time the airport has publicly addressed the challenge of the environmental impacts of cargo and set out its plans to ensure that even as Heathrow and freight volumes grow with expansion, overall airport-related traffic on the road does not increase in number compared to today.
Heathrow is the UK’s biggest port by value – responsible for handling over 30% of the country’s non-EU exports by value – more than the ports of Southampton and Felixstowe combined. Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway. Currently, the majority of freight movements – 2.75 million freight vehicle movements each year- are made to support the airport’s cargo operations.
The ten practical steps set out by Lord Deighton in his speech today detail how freight operations can be more efficient, responsible and sustainable in the future. These proposed steps include:
- Using innovation through tools like a load consolidation “ Heathrow Cargo Cloud” app for local forwarders and the trial of low emission freight vehicles and geo-fencing technology to reduce emissions on local roads;
- Investments in airfield charging points to install an ultra-low emission zone for vehicles on-airport;
- Modernising cargo infrastructure at the airport to allow for more airside transhipments, consolidation points away from airport local roads and a new cargo village that reduces unnecessary vehicle movements;
- Working with local authorities to address congestion points with a Code of Conduct for operators, and a joint strategic freight plan for local roads.
The steps outlined today show how the airport is delivering against the commitments set out in Heathrow 2.0, the airport’s sustainability strategy. Along with Heathrow’s ambitious plans to increase public transport use, and push forward on incentives like car sharing and taxi back-filling these steps will ensure that there is no more airport-related traffic on the roads compared to today with expansion.
Local residents and businesses will have the opportunity to feed into proposals on freight and Heathrow’s expansion, as they will form part of the airport’s public consultation process.
Speaking to delegates at the BCC International Trade Summit in Birmingham, Lord Deighton, Heathrow Airport’s Non-Executive Chairman said:
“Heathrow is dedicated to keeping the UK economy growing – but at the same time, we have pledged to be a sustainability leader and made promises to our local communities that we intend to keep. The ten steps we have outlined today allow us to keep building on our cargo strength and role as Heathrow’s biggest port by value, while restricting the emissions and local impacts of freight vehicles.
Through innovation, partnerships and our unwavering commitment to be a better neighbour, we are showing an expanded Heathrow is not a choice between the environment and the economy – we can deliver benefits for both.”
Chris Welsh, Director Global and European Policy, Freight Trade Association said:
“Heathrow’s Blueprint for Sustainable Freight is a collaborative and pioneering plan, by establishing a sustainable freight group, Heathrow will gain valuable insight from industry to develop procedures that are synergetic and will satisfy both Heathrow’s ambitious environmental goals as well as increasing the efficiency of freight operations in and around the airport. We look forward to working with them.”
Companies that subscribe to the load consolidation app will be able to exchange and share information about any spare capacity on their vehicles, or ask for help on a load they need to be transported. The app will work to match them, and they then contact each other offline and discuss the opportunity. The “Heathrow CargoCloud” will be the UK’s first app of its kind.
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