Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Freight Container Terminal Operator and Council Cooperate on Truck Emission Policy  

Proposed Charges Slashed as Dock Technology Manages Tolls

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Shipping News Feature UK – Whilst battle lines have been drawn and arguments rage over the patchwork imposition of air quality schemes and Low Emission Zones (LEZs) it seems that, in the south of England at least, sanity reigns as local freight container terminal operator DP World announces a cooperative agreement with Southampton City Council after the public body undertook a consultation on proposals to improve the air quality in the city.

The preferred answer was, initially at least, for the city to levy a charge of up to £100 a day on non-Euro VI trucks entering the city and other charges for buses and taxis. Backed by some large scale support DP World was able to persuade the value of the container and freight trade to the city, together with the impracticality of such a large charge, with the undoubted conclusion that this would be unsustainable for many businesses.

The Council’s own clean air strategy indicates that around 42% of air quality issues can be laid at the feet (or exhausts) of HGVs and LGVs. Having considered the points raised the Council began to seek an alternative, and the answer it seems is to employ the existing Vehicle Booking System (VBS) technology at the port to identify the vehicle and raise a ‘green charge’ accordingly. DP World Southampton has agreed to implement a much smaller charge of £5.00 per truck visit for older trucks through its VBS system, using automated number plate recognition (ANPR).

The company is creating a separate database for private licence plates and dock use only trucks, where operators will be asked to demonstrate whether their trucks are Euro V / VI compliant. In order to minimise the impact there will be a phased introduction:

  • From 1 January 2020 a £ 5.00 charge will be levied on trucks with licence plates of ‘08’ or older.
  • From 1 January 2022 a £ 5.00 charge will be levied on trucks with licence plates of ‘63’ or older.
DP World says that, based on analysis of current vehicle arrivals this approach will only affect a small percentage of trucks. Less than 2% of all trucks are expected to be Euro IV by 2020. Revenues will therefore be very limited and will be applied to recover the investment in the ANPR system.

It is difficult to predict how fast the ‘63’ and older trucks will be replaced but again, to limit the impact and give haulage businesses the opportunity to plan ahead, the company consciously chose an implementation date of 2022 for charging the newer Euro V trucks.

Full details about the scheme will follow along with DP World’s formal tariff announcement in June 2019.

Photo: Image courtesy of Help Britain Breathe.

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