Acumen Distribution has further expanded its fleet of Longer Semi-Trailers (LSTs) with the addition of four more trailers. Since Acumen began using the trailers in 2012 it has grown its fleet from an initial four trailers to 21 making it one of largest users in the country. The trailers will be utilized primarily on three return routes from Sunderland to Wednesbury, Sunderland to Telford and Redditch to Middleton.
Over the past 12 months Acumen has reduced the number of trips it has made between Sunderland – Wednesbury – Sunderland by 150 – a total of some 60,000 miles. The new trailers, which are being utilized on a route between Sunderland – Telford – Sunderland, have enabled the company, over the past 2 months to reduce its mileage by 15% which equates to some 4250 miles. Further savings are being made on the Redditch-Middleton-Redditch route which has enabled Acumen to save some 29,964 miles.
“The longer-semi trailers are having a positive impact for our customers and the environment”, says Chris Doughty, Managing Director of Acumen Logistics. “Not only are we decreasing traffic congestion and providing greater operational efficiency we are also saving 128.61 tonnes of CO2 emissions and reduced our mileage last year by a staggering 91,214 miles.”
The Freight and Logistics Division of the Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the study to examine the feasibility and impacts of allowing longer semi-trailers to operate within the British road haulage market. The primary objective of the study is to establish whether the introduction of LSTs will deliver overall economic, environmental and communal benefits.
The current UK maximum semi-trailer length is 13.6 metres. Some vehicles, particularly those carrying lighter consumer goods, tend to reach their payload volume capacity before their gross vehicle weight (GVW) limit of 44 tonnes. Additional semi trailer length would enable such vehicles to carry more cargo within the existing GVW restrictions, even if the increase in the weight of the semi-trailer led to a reduction in the maximum payload weight carried. The purpose of the trial is to ascertain whether longer semi-trailers will provide operating efficiency gains and reduced environmental impacts if fewer vehicles are required to carry the same volume of goods.