RL-Trans – a dynamic bulk logistics expert with sustainable solutions
Preparing for new fuel solutions and electrifying mobility, optimising energy and fuel consumption, increasing sea transport, offering detailed emissions reports, and further investing in digitalisation – for a transport and logistics company like RL-Trans, the green transition means all this and more.
RL-Trans specialises in bulk logistics, that is, transport and handling of unpacked powders and granules as well as liquid gases. Transported products include, for example, petrochemicals, food, feed, and minerals. For 20 years, the company has grown at an annual rate of 15–20 percent. Its fleet has expanded from eight trucks to 270 transport units, transforming RL-Trans into an international bulk logistics company offering its solutions Europe-wide.
To follow the EU’s ambitious target to reduce emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030, the quickly growing company has strongly integrated sustainable transport solutions into its strategy. Naturally, updating the vehicles is one of the main missions.
“Our whole fleet is already compliant with the Euro 6 standard, but considering the future that lies ahead of us, this is only the beginning. We want to offer solutions to our customers with sustainability in mind, from the beginning to the end of the logistics chain”, says Market Manager Andreas Lindedahl.
In 2019, RL-Trans invested in its first gas-powered trucks. By 2022, the company had four gas trucks in operation. They currently run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas. Rapid electrification and the rise of hydrogen will open even more opportunities for emission reductions in the future.
“Although there are already electric trucks on the market, they are not yet suitable for the majority of bulk logistics business. One day, however, we will have heavy-duty electric trucks on the road. The same goes for hydrogen-powered trucks, but this technology is still in very early stages and the necessary infrastructure is yet to be built”, explains Lindedahl.
In addition to investing in trucks with smaller carbon footprints, RL-Trans has placed great emphasis on eco-driving. In 2017, the company developed its own eco-driving index and launched the internal Smart Bulk programme, focusing on increasing traffic safety, cutting emissions, and reducing fuel consumption.
“Each of our trucks has a computer that gives real-time feedback to the drivers based on their driving style and overall ecological driving performance. Thanks to this, our eco-driving index has improved by 70 percent since Smart Bulk was first launched, meaning that the fuel consumption and emissions have dropped significantly”, states ICT Manager Mathias Lindedahl.
Electrification and the rise of hydrogen open more opportunities for emission reductions in the future
Although focusing on eco-driving is essential, the best way to achieve emission targets is reducing the kilometres driven. For RL-Trans, this means maximising the payloads as well as utilising intermodal and multimodal transport and sea routes as much as possible.
“We plan our transport routes carefully and always use seaways when possible to minimise emissions and energy consumption in international transport. Many of our competitors use road transport for the entire route instead”, says Andreas Lindedahl.
Optimising driving, routes, and freight loads are all made possible by RL-Trans’ heavy investments in digitalisation and its fleet. The company’s goal is to digitalise all its business operations step by step. At RL-Trans, digitalisation started over 20 years ago and it has contributed to the company’s rapid growth.
“We are already a forerunner in the bulk logistics sector when it comes to offering real-time information about individual transports to customers. Our automation system keeps our customers updated on their shipments. In addition, our GPS system is integrated into several other systems”, explains Mathias Lindedahl.
New technologies and safety features have also been utilised to increase employees’ safety.
“Responding to the ever-changing demands of the market is in our DNA. Thanks to our skilled team of professionals, we are sure that great opportunities lie ahead of us”, says Andreas Lindedahl.