Parcel carrier/postal company
Location: UPS Tamworth Main Sorting Hub
Station build: 2013
Current number of vehicles: 15
Gasrec built UPS’ on-site LNG facility over six years ago and it has been operating and supplying gas ever since.
Discreet facility, prominent benefits
Since 2013 Gasrec’s team of engineers and maintenance staff have supported UPS’s facility with state of the art 24-hour remote monitoring. The tanker-delivered LNG facility was initially built to support UPS’s fleet of 19 dual-fuel vehicles but following re-investment in gas technology has been home to their mix of 5 Scania and 10 Iveco dedicated gas vehicles.
The station was installed on an under-utilised area of UPS’s Tamworth depot, in the same section as their existing diesel refueling infrastructure. It is set up to accept the same ‘fuel management’ card to allow for maximum familiarity for drivers.
The vertical tank design covers an area of no more than 15m2, meaning the facility is extremely discreet and does not impact on UPS’s other activities.
Operation and maintenance
Gasrec’s engineers operate the station remotely 24 hours a day and attend the site for planned and ad-hoc maintenance.
Gasrec also offers UPS a 24 hour support phone line, remote fault tracking and live monitoring. This enables UPS to get support when they need it but also notifies Gasrec of developing faults before UPS are aware of them. In addition Gasrec manages the LNG supply remotely, delivering gas by its own tankers when the storage tank falls to a certain level.
Gasrec is the only certifield COMAH operator in the UK transport industry, meaning Gasrec complies with the strictest possible UK safety standards for storage of fuels.
As with all Gasrec facilities the design is designed with fire and gas monitoring, including automatic shut downs in the event of detection. All the equipment (dispensers, vent hose etc) undergoes a rigorous statutory maintenance program and is upgraded regularly as new technology becomes available.
UPS drivers refuel themselves at this facility, and therefore Gasrec has provided a training program and appropriate PPE.
UPS have seen significant reductions in emissions including, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
UPS’ vehicles are refuelling using natural gas to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions, in line with the UK’s stated emissions target of a 15% reduction in transport CO2 emissions by 2025. The environmental savings are calculated according to TFL standards set out in the UK government’s 2018 Road to Zero transport strategy.
Air Quality Footprint
UPS have reduced their toxic NOx emissions by 70% and particulate matter by 99%. In addition, as all gas vehicles meet Euro VI emission standards, all UPS gas-powered vehicles would be able to enter London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone which is in place from April 2019 and all other national Clean Air Zones.
UPS’ drivers benefit from a cleaner refuelling experience with there being no chance of leakage or spillage during refuelling. To supplement this, drivers are also exposed to better air quality around the vehicle.
Finally, gas trucks run with approximately 50% lower noise than diesel, making the driver experience a more pleasant.
When refuelling UPS drivers are required to wear cryogenic gloves and eye protection. The hazards associated with LNG refuelling are primarily contact with ultra-cold pipework around the vehicle. In the extremely unlikely event of a station fault, all of UPS’ dispensers are fitted with auto-stop technology meaning there could be no leakage of gas.
With natural gas HGVs being 50% quieter than diesel HGVs UPS has reduced its impact on the local community by creating less noise in residential areas and less noise during nighttime activities.
With a 12p/km saving and an annual mileage of 160,000km, a gas-powered HGV would save £19,200 per year in fuel costs. With each extra kilometre a further 12p would be saved meaning a truck covering 220,000km could expect to save a business over £26,000 per year in fuel costs.
The government’s recent decision to fix fuel duty on gas at 50% of diesel until 2032 provided impetus for UPS to invest in gas technology. The decision locked in savings against diesel for at least 13 years. If, as expected, diesel duty increases over that period, the savings offered by gas versus diesel will increase further.
Ocado has committed to a £3million investment in alternative fuels and has reported that it intends to open more gas refuelling facilities at other locations.