Monday, August 4, 2014

Air Freight Containers Updated by Leading Cargo Carrier

Composite Construction Helps Reduce Fuel and Pollution
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – These days the attention to detail being paid by shipping companies and others in the logistics supply chain when it comes to decreasing pollution and stretching out fuel use, somewhat resembles the world of Formula 1 racing, with every effort made to cut wherever possible. Now air freight carrier Virgin Atlantic Cargo has taken delivery of its first 802 lightweight air cargo containers and will add a further 250 new units in the coming weeks as part of its sustainability programme to save fuel and reduce its carbon footprint.

As with many competitors fleet improvement is one of the airline’s main commitments to reducing emissions with the 10 Airbus A333 aircraft that joined Virgin Atlantic’s fleet in 2012 and its new Boeing 787-9s, which commence deliveries in the autumn of 2014, both more efficient per trip than the aircraft they replace but savings can be made at a more mundane level and the airline will ultimately replace all 3,200 of its LD3 container units. Neil Ferdinando, Virgin Atlantic’s General Manager Cargo Operations, explained:

“This is one of a wide range of sustainability initiatives across the entire airline and is closely linked to our brand values. We have been trialling lightweight containers over several months and with the first delivery we have replaced 25% of our LD3s with composite containers that are 16 kilos per unit lighter. This provides a dual benefit to the airline of improved fuel consumption and makes another valuable contribution towards our target of reducing aircraft CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020.”

Virgin Atlantic is sourcing its lightweight containers from Nordisk and Advanced Composite Structures (ACS) and this first phase of its new composite container fleet will enable Virgin Atlantic to achieve further fuel efficiencies and reduce its CO2 emissions by an additional 565 tons in 2014 whilst, as well as the introduction of new fuel management systems, Virgin Atlantic says it continues to work behind the scenes to make sustainable fuels a commercial reality, which could lead to their use as soon as 2015.

Photo: Neil Ferdinando poses before the new container stock.