Lufthansa Cargo starts pilot scheme using lightweight containers to test fuel and emissions savings potential
Tue 24 Feb 2009 – Lufthansa Cargo and Jettainer have initiated a pilot scheme to test the impact of lightweight containers on the air cargo carrier’s environmental performance and transport costs. The trial will provide information about their weight advantages and shed light on the behaviour of containers made of composite materials compared with their conventional aluminium counterparts. The lightweight containers are around 15 percent lighter and their use could lead to significant fuel and emissions savings.
A total of 1,000 containers sourced from four manufacturers will be used during the trial on Lufthansa Cargo’s and Lufthansa’s global route networks.
“For many years now, Lufthansa Cargo has been working intensively on reducing its specific fuel consumption,” said Karl-Heinz Köpfle, the carrier’s Board Member Operations. “In the past we have implemented targeted measures to further lower our consumption and thus also the CO2 emissions of our fleet. Every kilogramme less of weight on our aircraft saves kerosene – and so lowers our costs.”
Alexander Plümacher, Managing Director of Jettainer, a leading international service provider for outsourced ULD (unit load device) management, estimates the airline industry could potentially save many millions of kilogrammes of fuel with the introduction of the composite material containers. A conventional LD-3 size airfreight container weighs about 80kg.
The tests will also aim to show whether the new containers need fewer repairs and whether the reduction in idle time due to repairs will affect the overall quantities of containers needed. The pilot scheme will run until this coming autumn.