Vehicle and component transportation is a strategic activity for FCA which has, among its other objectives, the aim of becoming more efficient, innovative and flexible throughout the entire supply chain.
i-FAST Automotive Logistics (i-FAST AL), the Group’s company in charge of finished vehicle transportation in Europe, has focused on making the adoption of modern technologies its major strength.
The company’s flagship achievement is the introduction of the first fleet of liquefied methane-powered vehicle transporters in Europe. Designed for long-distance missions, this fleet was the result of an agreement between i-FAST AL and Iveco, which supplied the Stralis NP trucks, transformed into vehicle transporters aimed at car and light commercial vehicle delivery.
Natural gas, or methane, is a low-emission fuel which combines environmental benefits with lower operational costs.
An initial feasibility trial was conducted during 2016, involving the collection of field data based on kilometers travelled with a specially-developed test vehicle. Following successful completion of the trial, i-FAST AL introduced an initial fleet of 10 methane-powered vehicle transporters. Based on the positive results obtained after the first months of use, FCA will add an additional five methane-powered trucks to our fleet.
As a result of these activities, i-FAST AL was recently recognized by Assologistica as one of the most sustainable and innovative logistics companies.
FCA is also applying other methods and technologies to our Logistics operations to make them more efficient. For example, the use of telematics makes it possible to manage the entire fleet‘s routes in real-time, optimizing flows to avoid unnecessary travel and maximize transport capacity utilization.
The use of modern technologies does not represent the only means we are using to reduce our environmental impact: we also look at the human factor to achieve our objectives. Transport drivers are periodically engaged and trained on topics such as the optimization of truckloads and the importance of adopting a responsible driving style. By limiting their driving speed and improving truckloads, drivers have contributed directly to reducing the consumption of fuel and avoided more than 400 tons of CO2 in a single year.
In addition to playing a role in our Logistics operations, natural gas is also a key element in our product offering. FCA has been Europe’s leading producer of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) natural gas vehicles for more than 15 years. Since 1997, the Group has sold more than 720,000 natural gas-powered cars and commercial vehicles.