Milky Way Logistics of London, a trusted freight forwarding entity, proudly aligns with the UK Government’s latest initiative—a monumental £200 million investment designed to propel the freight and logistics sector into an eco-friendlier era, marked by the adoption of zero-emission technologies. This injection of funds heralds the next phase of the Government’s Zero Emission Road Freight Demonstrator (ZERFD) programme, a milestone effort orchestrated by Innovate UK, the nation’s innovation agency.
This strategic move involves the distribution of funds across four groundbreaking projects, collectively aimed at unleashing up to 370 zero-emission Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and establishing around 57 refueling and electric charging sites. These projects are set to revolutionize the logistics landscape:
- Gridserve’s Project Electric Freightway is slated to unveil up to 140 battery electric HGVs, provided by DAF and Volvo, supported by a network of 220 chargers, the majority of which will be accessible to the public.
- Project Zero Emission North (ZEN) Freight promises to showcase a fleet that includes 70 battery electric and 30 hydrogen fuel HGVs, with Eddie Stobart and Royal Mail among the participants.
- The Hydrogen Aggregated Logistics (HyHAUL) initiative, led by Protium, plans to roll out approximately 30 hydrogen fuel cell HGVs along the M4, accompanied by a mix of fixed and mobile refueling stations, with aspirations to expand further.
- Voltempo’s eFREIGHT 2030 project in Birmingham aims to generate up to 200 new jobs by 2030 and aims to establish one of the UK’s premier electric vehicle charging hubs dedicated to HGVs.
With a vision to navigate towards net zero within the heavy road freight industry, these projects underscore the commitment to creating a robust charging infrastructure and integrating electric HGVs into the national fleet.
During ‘Freight Week,’ a week-long celebration of the sector, the government recognized the central role of freight and logistics as the lifeblood of the economy. The initiative also underscored the sector’s potential in driving innovation, creating new jobs, and supporting the UK’s ambition to approach net zero.
An additional £2.4 million has been allocated to the Freight Innovation Fund (FIF), bolstering up to 10 SMEs to explore greener, more efficient, and resilient freight solutions. The £7 million Freight Innovation Fund, over three years, aims to escalate the rollout of innovative technology to decarbonize the industry, a core part of the Future of Freight Plan.
The first round of the FIF has already supported innovative projects, such as drone-based mail delivery to the Orkney Islands and the implementation of zero-emission technologies in London. The Freight Innovation Fund Accelerator programme, now in its second cohort, will continue to support companies with promising technologies to advance the sector.
Furthermore, two Calls for Evidence have been launched to explore new methods for the industry’s decarbonization and efficiency improvement. The first supports the development of the zero-emission HGV and coach infrastructure strategy, while the second examines the regulations surrounding volumetric concrete mixers.
The Government is also reviewing the Mode Shift Revenue Support and Waterborne Freight Grant to enhance the sector’s shift from road to rail or water, facilitating decarbonization efforts. October marks the second year of Generation Logistics, a campaign backed by Government funding, aimed at promoting logistics sector awareness and career opportunities to young people, enhancing recruitment and diversifying the workforce.
Kate Jennings, Director of Policy at Logistics UK, has emphasized the industry’s foundational role in the UK economy and welcomes the government’s recognition and support. Logistics UK is advocating for prompt and efficient progress in decarbonization efforts and is actively participating in reviews and consultations to ensure that strategies are effectively aligned with industry needs.
is at the forefront of this transformative period, ready to adopt and champion the innovative technologies and strategies emerging from the Government’s significant investment. With a keen focus on sustainability, operational efficiency, and industry-leading practices, Milky Way Logistics is not just responding to change but is actively participating in shaping a greener future for the freight and logistics industry.
As the industry ventures into this exciting new phase, Milky Way Logistics stands committed to excellence and environmental responsibility, ensuring that as they comply with government outlines, they continue to provide top-tier service to their clients. With an eye on the horizon, Milky Way Logistics is dedicated to steering the logistics sector towards a sustainable and prosperous future.
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