Vion commits to ambitious pilot project with Schmitz Cargobull

International food producer, Vion Food Group, expects to cut fuel consumption by 8.0 per cent with an aerodynamically optimised articulated truck and trailer combination.

In the presence of representatives from Schmitz Cargobull, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and aerodesign specialist, Betterflow, the first optimised articulated vehicle was handed over to Vion in mid-March under the motto ‘Together for a better future’.

“For the implementation of the project, Vion consciously opted for the latest-generation Schmitz Cargobull S.KO COOL box body semi-trailer containing the S.CU2 cooling unit with a high-efficiency common rail drive,” said Schmitz Cargobull Sales Manager Western Europe, Frank Reppenhagen.

“This trailer concept reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, and is supplemented by the aerodynamic components of the Betterflow system for enhanced sustainability in road freight transport.”

To optimise the vehicle even further, Vion’s other industry partners include the Aachen-based start-up Betterflow. The aerodesign specialists come from the aerospace industry and have set themselves the goal of optimising the air resistance of articulated vehicles. The Aachen engineers are adding three components to the trailer – an underbody membrane (LowFLOW), a spoiler on the bulkhead of the trailer (HighFLOW), and a rear wing system (RearFLOW), which opens automatically at a speed of 60 km/h and has been approved in the EU since last year.

To make the complete road train as efficient as possible, Vion uses a fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz Actros 1848 LS 4×2 tractor unit.

“With this pilot test for future-oriented foodstuff logistics, we will now accumulate experience with the aim of gradually retrofitting our complete tubular track transport fleet in meat logistics,” said Vion Logistics Director, Sven Janßen.

With around 300 trailers in Germany and the Netherlands, each with an annual average mileage of 100,000 km, Vion should consume far more than half a million litres less diesel, and thus reduce CO2 emissions by around 1,500 tonnes.

“Anyone – like us at Vion – who wants to take responsibility for sustainable value creation along their entire supply chain cannot ignore the subject of mobility and logistics,” said Janßen.

“As a pioneer in the meat industry, we are thus taking the next logical step in the future-oriented supply of foodstuffs.”

Sven Janßen (Logistics Director Vion Move GmbH), Dirk Sieprath (Managing Director Betterflow GmbH), Thomas Schmitt (Key Account Manager Mercedes-Benz Trucks), Frank Reppenhagen (Sales Manager Western Europe Schmitz Cargobull).

In February, Schmitz Cargobull launched three new versions of its EcoGeneration trailer to help industry achieve greater fuel savings and carbon dioxide reductions.