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International courier division DHL Freight has partnered with BMW Group to pilot the first Liquefied natural gas-powered truck with a mega trailer in German.

The liquefied natural gas powered Iveco Stralis truck will be used as a daily shuttle between DHL’s logistics center and a BMW Group production plant in southern Germany over a period of one year.

Liquefied natural gas trucks offer 15% higher fuel efficiency compared to traditional diesel-powered engines and have a reach of 1500km.

This will help reduce operational costs and they also emit 99% less particulate matter and up to 70% less nitrogen oxide emissions than the levels required by the current Euro VI diesel norms.

The project is part of efforts by DHL Freight to reduce all logistics-related emissions to net zero by 2050.

The pilot is an expansion of trial carried out in Belgium since summer 2018 by a sportswear firm which four liquefied natural gas trucks.

DHL Freight and BMW have since last year been renewing contracts for the management of the automotive manufacturer’s supply chain in seven additional areas, as well as all road transport between 17 countries.

Uwe Brinks, CEO DHL Freight, said: “The combination of LNG truck and mega trailer is a promising sustainable solution for automotive logistics. We are able to meet the customer’s transport requirements in the best possible way, while also significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions along the supply chain. The increase in fuel efficiency and proven reduction of harmful emissions that comes with using natural gas help to make long-distance road transport more sustainable.”

DHL Group generated revenues of more than 61 billion euros in 2018.