The Super EcoCombi is on its way
The Super EcoCombi (SEC), or the Duo trailer as we’ve called it the past couple of years in our awareness campaign, is a highly simple concept with significant benefits. As we speak, a dedicated community is working hard on its regulatory approval for Dutch roads. An ideal moment to do a recap, share some details on this community and - most importantly - look at its road ahead, within and outside of The Netherlands!
The concept – a recap
The concept is simple. A SEC is a single truck towing two regular trailers linked with a dolly. With this dolly and some minor adaptations to the first trailer, existing equipment – in our case: Mega Huckepack XL(S) trailers – will do perfectly. So, no new technical solutions are to be designed.
Its benefits are significant. Permitting SEC’s on our roads could lead to many advantages, like:
- Up to 27% CO2 reduction (= environmental gain);
- Less space needed on roads, which reduces congestion (= societal gain);
- Preventing driver shortages (= logistics industry gain).
A SEC is perfectly fit for multimodal use. It’s not meant to reduce the use of short-sea and rail options; it’s rather a more optimal way to reach the corresponding ports and terminals. Next to regular road transport, it’s actually more like a 4th option. And, a very viable one; also for us transport companies. To quote Bram Ewals in a (Dutch) interview with the Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics (TLN): “The Super EcoCombi offers us the opportunity to organise our operations in an even more optimal way.”
The SEC community
The SEC community unites parties that investigate the possibility of permitting the SEC on Dutch roads, like: the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW), TLN and a group of transport providers represented by Ewals Cargo Care.
The Dutch and European road ahead
So where are we currently at in The Netherlands? At the end of the year (Q4 2020), the SEC will be technically evaluated on test tracks. In case of a positive outcome, a pilot will be started at the beginning of next year (Q1 2021). This pilot is intended to test the SEC’s road safety on public roads. A SEC of Ewals Cargo Care will be activated on the corridor between Venlo and Rotterdam. Again, in case of positive findings, small-scale tests with effective cargo will be planned on four different corridors throughout the rest of the year (2021).
And what’s happening in parallel within other European countries? In Finland, the use of SEC’s has been approved but with special requirements for the equipment. In Sweden and Spain, the SEC is being tested on several corridors and in Germany Schmitz Cargobull is picking up the topic with national authorities.