Ahlers & BP go for modal shift

Lean and Green into practice

Tags:
truck to barge
modal shift

How to decrease our CO2 emissions by 20% in five years? That is the question we had to ask ourselves if we wanted to be part of the Lean & Green movement. One of the key solutions we had in mind, was convincing our customers to follow us into a modal shift. And it’s working. Oil & Gas company BP is one of the first.

With the opening of the ‘Interface Terminal Gent (ITG), located at the Kluizendock in the port of Ghent (Belgium), a shift from truck to barge became a great new option for our forwarding customers in the area. One of them is BP, one of the world’s leading oil & gas companies. They were the first to -almost literally- get on board as soon as we introduced our shift plan.

“It was more than simply asking BP if they were okay with it. We had some practical hurdles to overcome,” Heike Ulburghs, Customer Solutions Manager at Ahlers Belgium explains: “Fortunately shipping company MSC was willing to back us up by placing empty containers at the ITG terminal, enabling us to guarantee transport for our customer at all times.” Ahlers expects more shipping companies to follow their example, which will only contribute to the shippers’ comfort.

The first BP containers have left the ITG terminal by barge mid of April. With every container going over water instead of land, we save up to 64,71kg in CO2 emissions (more or less 50% reduction compared to road transport) and no longer contribute to the growing traffic jams in the area.

As far as Heike is concerned, this is just the first step: “Up next is our chemical warehouse in Evergem. Our site is very close to the Kluizendock, so we started talking to our local warehousing clients too. We are now in the process of performing test shipments for a few of them.

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