CN will launch EcoRide in April 2011. EcoRide is a new container chassis expected to reduce fuel consumption in CN’s trucking of containers to and from its intermodal terminals by eight to 10 per cent.
The EcoRide chassis, developed in collaboration with a Canadian supplier, is equipped with a series of features that reduce fuel consumption, hence greenhouse gas emissions: side skirts to reduce aerodynamic drag, a weight 15 per cent less than conventional CN chassis, and low-rolling resistance tires on each axle instead of the normal four tires per axle. CN will debut this new chassis in Ontario.
Jean-Jacques Ruest, CN executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, said: “CN stands for innovation and is continuously looking for ways to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint. After the successful launch last year of EcoTherm, our new greener insulated container, the CN team started to explore other opportunities to provide customers better supply chain solutions that reduce carbon emissions.
“CN’s next steps in environmental innovation will include testing hybrid container cranes, in-terminal hybrid trucks, and energy efficient generators. CN is deploying the hybrid shunt trucks in ground switching of containers on chassis at our Brampton Intermodal Terminal this month.”
Kraft Canada, a major CN intermodal customer, is taking a comprehensive approach to its sustainability program. “We are working very closely with CN to develop a low carbon supply chain,” said Craig McLaughlin, vice-president, supply chain, for Kraft Canada. “We appreciate that CN continues finding new ways to be more energy efficient. CN is aligned with Kraft’s focus on those suppliers that deliver the most value, which includes
For shipments moving more than 1,000 miles, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says intermodal transport cuts fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 65 per cent, compared with truck transport alone.
Ruest said: “Our new intermodal chassis and other energy-saving initiatives underscore CN’s commitment to improve supply chain sustainability and to further strengthen the inherent environmental benefits of our rail service offering.”