Canal transport radically cuts CO2 emissions

Geminor is now converting waste wood transport from trucks and over to barges sailing the canals of Germany. Estimates show that the logistical move cuts CO2 emissions by a staggering 70 percent.

Since 2020, Geminor has been delivering A4 waste wood from Finland to Germany for material recycling and energy recovery. From the port of arrival at Lübeck, the total ship volumes of approx. 1,500 tonnes have been loaded onto trucks and then delivered to various off-takers by road transport.

From the very first shipment, around 85 trucks have been loaded with waste wood. These trucks have covered a total of 17 000 km on German roads.

Saves emissions, time and costs

In order to make transport more efficient, and simultaneously reduce road traffic and CO2 pollution, Geminor is now converting all transport of the waste wood involved in this project to inland shipping, says Geminor Country Manager in Germany, Andreas Hefler.

CM at Geminor in Germany, Andeas Hefler.

– Barge transport is not only a sustainable means of transport – but it also saves us time and costs. There are several canals in Germany that can be used for this transport, and at the moment we are transporting to Berlin on the Lübeck-Elbe route with a total distance of 318 km. A 1 500 tonnes volume can be transported by only three barges, and then be unloaded directly into the bunkers of the incineration plants on arrival, Andreas Hefler explains.

Using the most relevant variables in the calculation, the savings of CO2 equivalent emissions in this transport is quite an eye-opener, says Hefler.

– Using this route as an example, the 85 trucks transporting 1 500 tonnes of waste wood have a total CO2e emission of 49,2 tonnes. In comparison, the exact same volumes transported by barges only lead to 13,8 tonnes of CO2e emissions. That is a reduction of about 70 percent compared to road transport, says Hefler.

A barge loaded for transport from Lübeck.

Geminor’s experience so far indicates that traditional canal transport is a sound alternative for waste transport in central Europe.

– The answers we get are positive and we are therefore now looking into the option of extending our barge transport. At the moment we are planning to transport A1 and A2 waste wood from South Germany to our HUB in Wilhelmshaven and then export it to the Baltics.

– With the growing demands on CO2 emission cuts in the EU, canal transport is an option more companies will have to consider. This could mean a renaissance for barge transport in the time to come, concludes CM at Geminor in Germany, Andreas Hefler.

Want to learn more about Geminor logistics? Read more here or get in touch today!