Dutch inner-city relay temperature-controlled transport solution

Wognum, Netherlands:  Simon Loos Logistic has devised a relay delivery system to transport temperature-contolled goods for final delivery with Amsterdam city centre meeting strict weight, emissions and noise limits.

Trials and test operations began in November 2009 for the Simon Loos Logistic LZV system that uses a double bottom articulated vehicle comprising two close-coupled 2-axle semi-trailers 25.25m long  and with a gross vehicle weight of 50-tonnes for delivery to logistics centres located outside Amsterdam. The semi trailers are uncoupled at the out of town sites with each yraler pulled by a Mercedes-Benz Econic NGT tractor to make inner-city deliveries.

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Simon Loos Logistic's low noise, inner-city delivery solution using Mercedes-Benz Econic gas powered tractors

The semi-trailers are designed for city-centre traffic, which can be very restricted in parts of Amsterdam, and include steered rear axles. The gross vehicle weight of the Econic truck/trailer combination is 30 tonnes.

Simon Loos has ordered 30 Mercedes-Benz Econic 1828 NGT chassis with natural gas drive. The first vehicle out of the order for 23 tractors was handed over at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth earlier this month. The Econic is a low-floor transport vehicle for municipal applications and short haul distribution applications.

Director, Simon Loos says: “We discussed the concept with our loading agents and Mercedes-Benz”.

“Since 2005, we have been changing our towing vehicles, a good 75% of which are Mercedes-Benz, over to Euro 5. In the case of our latest acquisitions, we discussed with our customers what their goals are, something which we always make a point of doing. It quickly became clear that the primary requirement was for maximum environmental acceptability”, said Loos. “Euro 6 will not be available until some point in the future, so we focused on EEV [enhanced environmentally friendly vehicle].

Access to cities is likely to be restricted even further, says Loos hence the appeal of the Econic with gas engine. In addition, the Econic can also run on biogas. When using biogas from a regenerative source, the Econic operate as a CO2-neutral vehicle.

Loos is able to compensate for the additional cost of the Econic NGT with longer daily operating times. The Econic EEV-certified 900-series engine is a mono-fuel natural gas drive meets low noise requirements. An Allison transmission, a standard fitting, and soundproofing reduced noise to 72dBA enabling 24-hours operation in Amsterdam where Piek noise limit regulations apply.

The LZV system uses double bottom articulated vehicles with two close-coupled 2-axle semi-trailers, which uncoupled make inner-city deliveries

Simon Loos Logistics, a third generation family owned business trading since 1938, operates 425 tractors and 645 trailers. One of its largest customers is the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn, part of the Ahold Group.  Albert Heijn has a third share of the market with four types of store: its 800 district stores make up the largest proportion and many of remain open until 8.00pm, and some until 10.00pm and some on open on Sundays require out of hours deliveries with low noise vehicles.

“We are moving towards 24-hour, 365-day deliveries”, says Loos. “This can only be guaranteed with special vehicles”.  The semi-trailers made by Dutch body manufacturer Heiwo in Wolwega make use of PIEK-certified refrigeration units from Carrier, soundproofed loading tailgates from Dhollandia and rubber-wheeled roll cages.