FERCAM launches a research study with CNR ITAE (Institute of Advanced Technologies for Energy) to follow-up the "Emission free delivery" pilot project in Rome

The South Tyrolean logistics operator FERCAM, in collaboration with the Municipality of Rome and with TRELAB, the laboratory of the Roma Tre University, has an active role in the complex process of transforming the distribution of goods in the urban center, with the aim of building a virtuous model that is concretely sustainable. The project will be gradually extended to all national urban realities in which FERCAM is operational and provides for an overall revision of the vehicle fleet to achieve zero-emission urban logistics.
mezzi elettrici Roma
FERCAM has launched a project in Rome for the distribution of goods with zero-emission. The aim is, within two years, well in advance of the targets established at Community level, to carry out 100% of the distribution within the "Green Belt" of the capital only with eco-sustainable means.

ROME is the first city where FERCAM launched the EMISSION FREE-DELIVERY pilot project (zero-emission distribution). This "Green Belt" of 150 square km, within the Grande Raccordo Anulare, covers a large part of the surface of Rome and delimits the territory within which traffic restrictions apply, in cases of emergency due to exceeding the pollution thresholds established by legislation.

“We know that our choices can have significant consequences in terms of sustainability; in our 2020-25 strategy, attention to the environment is in fact one of the points of great centrality, transversal to all business areas and the basis for various development projects", is convinced Dino Menichetti, Regional Manager of FERCAM and project coordinator within the 2025 STRATEGY.

A green fleet for zero-emission urban logistics

The pilot project envisages the conversion of the diesel and LPG fleet with electric and methane vehicles. Currently, the only electric vehicles commercially available for urban distribution are vans with a capacity of less than 35 quintals, used for the delivery of smaller shipments within the Historic Center and the restricted traffic zone. They are equipped with an innovative electric motor that guarantees high energy efficiency and low wear, very important characteristics in the presence of journeys with frequent intermediate stops or in the intense traffic of the city center. They also guarantee asignificant reduction of noise emissions, with positive effects on the well-being of fellow citizens.

Unlike traditional express couriers, FERCAM distributes a type of goods with the highest average gross weight per shipment, which in Rome stands at 125 kg. The most suitable vehicle for the company's production cycle is the tractor, which has a greater capacity than the van, but its dimensions do not allow it to be used in the narrow streets of the center. This is why a new vehicle has been designed on a 72 quintal natural gas chassis, which will have smaller dimensions than the classic tractor and a payload 5 times higher than that of vans, thanks to which the total number of vehicles circulating is reduced with effect doubly beneficial: reduced emissions thanks to methane fueling and less traffic on the streets of the city. The replacement of diesel vehicles with CNG or LNG methane vehicles also involves the 300 daily connections between the Italian branches of FERCAM and the 82 daily connections with Europe.

Agreement with the National Research Council (CNR) and with the Institute of Advanced Technologies for Energy (ITAE)

In support of the initiatives launched, FERCAM has recently signed an agreement with the CNR-ITAE, thus being able to make use of the maximum national expertise for consultancy on the design and construction of zero-emission vehicles BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) and FCHEV hydrogen (Fuel Cell Hybdrid Electric Vehicle), and production plants from RES (Renewable Energy Source), storage and distribution of alternative fuels (EE - Green Electricity / H2 - Green Hydrogen).
CNR-ITAE will also provide support for the verification of the requirements for Industry 4.0 and Transition 4.0 and the possible synergies of the proposed interventions with the mobility plans and any other programming tools (local or national), in addition to the certification of emissions reduction.

Use of renewable sources

The Emission Free Delivery Project was carried out with WTW Well-to-Wheel logic, i.e. taking into account the entire life cycle of the vehicle (LCA Life-Cycle-Assessment) and the methods of production, transport and distribution of fuel and electric energy. The use of renewable sources is crucial for the reduction of emissions and for this reason 8 photovoltaic plants for 1.5 megawatts are already active in the FERCAM warehouses and another 7 plants for a further 2 megawatts are under construction, including the one at the Rome branch of 225 kWp, which will produce the energy needed to recharge electric vehicles. Furthermore, a project is being studied to install at the Rome branch a distributor of biomethane produced from agricultural biomass and organic waste, which compared to methane and fossil fuels is a totally renewable and sustainable source as it is CO2 neutral.

Environmental protection interventions in addition to the handling of goods

For FERCAM, sustainable logistics means optimizing the use of energy and minimizing environmental impacts, helping to create a circular economy system with concrete measures to reduce CO2 emissions as a promise for future generations. The interventions are therefore not limited only to the handling of goods, but also to the energy efficiency of the plants. In the Rome branch, all the traditional incandescent lamps of the 12,000 square meters of warehouse were replaced with LED lamps equipped with presence sensors and astronomical twilight sensors, while in the 1,400 square meters of offices, sun protection films were installed on all glass surfaces. Furthermore, framework agreements were closed with companies specialized in the recycling of 100% of the waste produced at their plants.