2013.1 Securing the future
New ideas, innovations, and strength of community secure the future. Medium-sized companies have always shown that they are extremely flexible when it comes to responding to market demands and the needs of their customers and are particularly creative when it comes to ideas and developments. And not least, they have the financial basis and force for innovative concepts for the future.
We too, as one of the major general cargo companies throughout Europe are showing innovation repeatedly and an example of this is our CO2 footprint, which we have been the first cooperation to identify. Our own software myVTL, which is continually adapted to the needs of the network, will provide greatly simplified delivery to private households in the future through the B2C product.
VTL is also breaking new ground in the field of up-skilling and training: with the VTL Academy, the network-wide trainee exchange, the simulator driver training and the driver league currently being set up, innovative concepts in sustainability and employee retention have been created.
“Green logistics” is particularly important to us, as part of the transport industry, and the eco cent will be of great value in this.
Eco cent from 2014
Just like electricity suppliers, VTL will be introducing an eco cent in 2014. This, however will not be used to increase renewable electricity production, but will be used for the green, sustainable projects earmarked in the general cargo cooperation.
At the end of August, the VTL supervisory board decided to introduce the eco cent as of 1st of January 2014 to enhance the sustainable logistics of the network. For each consignment, the partners will put 2 cents in the eco fund and the VTL headquarters in Fulda will add another 1 cent to it.
Going by the 1.4 million shipments in 2012, there will be around 42,000 Euro available, which will be invested mainly in CO2 reduction in transport services. The installation of software for logging and calculating CO2 is planned for this. Projects already started, like the VTL driver league are given more emphasis by the eco cent and, for example, it is planned to commission a tyre pressure system at a later date.
3 years green logistics
In March 2010, VTL was the first network of medium-sized cargo companies to define sustainable logistics for the entire general cargo system and have its network carbon footprint (NCF) certified by the TÜV less than a year later in May 2011. In the same year, six months later, the CO2 shipment tables were to follow.
CO2 emissions were reduced in both 2012 and 2013. In August this year, the NCF was determined for the third time and recertified by TÜV Rheinland – piece by piece towards more environmental protection. However, VTL will not rest on its laurels with this success; the goal is and must be to protect the environment from further CO2 emissions. The introduction of the eco cent will make it easier to implement planned milestones.
VTL donates convertible
Social commitment as a corporate duty. The VTL general cargo cooperation sponsored the urban holiday project in Fulda and turned the youth centre convertible in Aschenberg into a mobile sound system.
The offer of the youth club in Aschenberg (JtpaA) this summer was all about automobiles and VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH also made a contribution by donating an old Ford cabriolet that had seen better days. The young people did this up again with much dedication and attention to detail. In the end, VTL’s Managing Director Andreas Jäschke could hardly recognise the sponsored car: freshly painted, repaired, ready for the road, and fitted with a powerful stereo system, the sleek VTL convertible will now enrich future events at the youth club as a mobile sound system.
The commitment to regional youth work is especially important for the VTL Managing Director: “Sustainable business for us means not only reconciling ecological and economic interests, but also assuming social responsibility locally,” says Jäschke. “At the Aschenberg youth club we are in the right place.” VTL has promoted this facility for the first time and wants to continue to support youth work in the Fulda area in the future.
The JtpaA is a facility run by the city of Fulda, which has been providing offers for 6 to 21-year olds from the Aschenberg and Horas districts for over 20 years. In addition to various courses like break-dance, creative workshops or circus, additional projects are also run in the holidays.
Simplified delivery to private customers
E-commerce is growing steadily – particularly in the area of private customers, and the VTL general cargo cooperation has responded to this with their new B2C product. From the 1st of January 2014, delivery to private individuals will be added to the customer service. With the new product, the network wants to broaden its base and generate new business. “The close-knit network of VTL partners means we are close to the end customer and can afford this service without any major additional cost,” says VTL’s Managing Director Andreas Jäschke, as he describes this extension to the service.
The modern communication platform myVTL, implemented a year ago, allows automated information and processing. Once partners or distributors have registered the pallet and heavier weight goods on myVTL, the end customer receives an automated email, which leads him directly to the dispatch in myVTL. Here, he can choose when the shipment will be delivered over the next three days, in the morning or afternoon. The corresponding VTL depot also automatically receives an e-mail with the desired date of delivery.
This cuts out the need for VTL partners themselves to agree a delivery date by phone and they can rest assured that the consignee will actually be at home. myVTL of course also has track and trace for shipments.
New members of the CargoFamily
Over the last 12 months, the following partners have joined the VTL network:
Breisach am Rhein
Green Logistics: Step by step towards greater environmental protection
Step by step towards greater environmental protection
VTL takes its responsibility to protect the environment very seriously. This commitment can be seen in the recertification of the NCF of the general cargo co-operation to ISO 14064:2006 by TÜV Rheinland. “We not only record the data of VTL GmbH, but also the values of the hubs operated by VTL partners and the proportional values of the VTL depots,” explains VTL Managing Director Andreas Jäschke. This means that data flows into the greenhouse gas balance from both purely transport activities and transshipment and administration.With this certification the independent TÜV Rheinland auditors confirm that VTL has calculated these direct and indirect emissions correctly. “For us green logistics is no meaningless slogan used for marketing purposes,” says VTL boss Andreas Jäschke. “Instead, it refers to transparency and tangible figures. This enables us to determine that the investment of our partners in energy-saving lighting, in photovoltaic equipment and green buildings is already paying off,” states Jäschke. In the area of partner administration VTL improved CO2 emissions by 25 percent per consignment. In addition, the emissions for transshipment at the depots also fell by 17 percent. However, in the transport field, which accounts for the largest amount of CO2, considerable scope for optimisation remains. The ground has already been prepared for this. Alongside various other projects, this year VTL also began offering seminars for truck drivers on the general cargo network. The objective is to raise awareness among drivers with regard to a foresightful and economical driving style. Because braking technique, gear selection and changing point as well as correct tyre pressure have a significant influence on fuel consumption – and thereby on CO2 emissions. “We aim to make use of this potential,” says Jäschke. In relation to this, a VTL drivers league is currently being prepared for the main routes, in order to reward fuel-saving driving.
Green Logistics: Driver training reduces the NCF
Well-trained professional drivers drive safely and economically.
Whether it is road, motorway or city transport – fuel saving and the associated reduction of CO2 is reason enough for VTL Vernetzte-Transport-Logistik GmbH to offer seminars for the professional drivers in the general cargo network. In June, the first 12 drivers from VTL partner companies took part in simulator training at the headquarters in Fulda. The second training course was run by the Barth transport company with 17 employees in Burladingen.
In theory and practice, the seminar teaches the positive influence of a forward-looking driving style and the impact of braking techniques, gear selection and the point of gear change on economical driving. And that the correct tyre pressure, as well as the optimum setting of the spoiler can reduce CO2 emissions.
The training by the SVG Straßenverkehrs-Genossenschaft Hessen eG was conducted in a mobile simulator on the company premises in Fulda. Built into a swap body, the air-conditioned Mercedes Benz ACTROS simulator cabin features state of the art modern technology, including a 180 degree visual field screen and movement system.
The practical ECO-training starts with a 10-kilometre long initial test drive: fuel consumption is measured; switching operations and travel time are logged on a specified route. Following the subsequent theoretical knowledge about the importance and opportunities of the economical driving style, there is a second test drive to put what was learned into practice and do a comparison with the values in the initial drive
The network carbon footprint can be considerably reduced
The participants from the VTL partner companies Schäfer Logistik, Hellmold & Plank and others were excited. On the same driving time, all twelve significantly reduced their fuel consumption. The best result was minus 30 percent, and on average a reduction of 24.23 per cent was achieved.
Udo Kleinmann, working as a professional driver for 25 years at barth Spedition, sees the simulator training as time- and cost-saving and says: “At the start, driving training in the simulator takes a bit of getting used to and feels a bit like a computer game. But after 2-3 attempts you get the knack. I think, simulator training is definitely a good alternative for the future.”
For 126 VTL partners, this series of seminars is a big step towards greater profitability and the chance to reduce the CO2 footprint and the NCF (network carbon footprint).
With the training in the simulator, drivers do not have to bring their vehicles to the training location; this saves fuel and is good for the driver’s hours.
The interest in further simulator training is high in the general cargo cooperation. Some partners for example are already planning in-house training for their entire crew of drivers and are thus complying with the Berufskraftfahrer-Qualifikations-Gesetz (BKrFQG) (Professional Drivers Qualification Act).
Green Logistics: VTL driver league being set up
VTL driver league being set up
In the context of “green logistics”, VTL would like to set up the VTL driver league for the main runs to the Fulda hub.The recent simulator driver training for VTL and VTL partners confirmed that up to 30% of fuel can be saved by economical driving. This reduces the network carbon footprint (NCF), is easy on the wallet and the vehicle.
As an incentive, VTL wants to set up a driver league. Premiums in the amount of € 500, € 750 and € 1,000 are paid to the top three, monthly rankings are compiled to motivate the drivers to practice the economical and environmental driving style they have learned and thus, contribute to fuel savings.
The pilot project is to be launched at the start of 2014, initially for a period of 6 months. All the partners who drive the same vehicle to the Fulda hub every day can participate. The VTL driver league is assessed on a company basis, regardless of loaded weight and distance, but takes into account criteria such as idling, full throttle ration and braking.
Thomas Vandeberg, 29
”I have been working at VTL in dispatch national / service since the 16th of November 2012. My hobbies include reading and football.“
Elena Stingl, 26
”Since the 8th of June 2013, I have been working in the department hub coordination at VTL. I love spending my free time with my friend, my family and particularly with my twin sister. I love nature and get outside as often as I can!“
Nadine Bourinakis, 19
”Since the 1st of August 2013, I have been doing my training at VTL in transport and logistic services. In my free time, I like spending time with my family or meeting up with my friends.“
Hakan Yücel, 20
”I have been working at VTL since the 1st of August 2013 as an apprentice forwarding agent. In my free time, I enjoy doing sport and I am involved in a football club.“