Following news earlier this year that Uber has started an app to match HGV drivers in the US with companies who need goods transporting from one place to another, there’s a UK scheme doing the same thing.  Heathrow Airport has unveiled their plans for a matchmaking app called Heathrow CargoCloud, which puts haulage firms in touch with one another so they can club together and share vehicles making freight trips.

 

It’s hoped that the app will allow haulage firms to cooperate and share their spare truck space, meaning fewer lorries going to and from the airport altogether.  The reduction in HGVs will not only help to save the environment but will also reduce traffic around the airport at the same time.

Heathrow Plans HGV-sharing App

The news comes amid new talks about a third runway at the airport, a move that has been controversial among environmentalists, MPs and locals alike for the increased traffic and air pollution they say will undoubtedly result from it. With this app, Heathrow Airport are making an attempt to appease both of these arguments, at least as far as additional freight is concerned.

 

What might be confusing for objectors to the third runway are the conflicting arguments that the third runway won’t result in more traffic, but will also mean the airport can double its freight haulage by 2025.  It could be that more schemes along these lines will help to reduce wasted space in HGVs going to and from the airport, in which case we look forward to the rolling out of the new app and seeing how popular it will prove with hauliers. One thing the app might not account for is a natural competition between haulage firms which could prevent them from working together to fulfil their individual contracts. While it’s hoped this is something they are willing to do, the app is likely to need quite a lot of work when it comes to selling the idea to hauliers.

 

The airport has already been criticised for a poor record on air quality, even without the third runway in place. But the Airport’s chairman, Lord Deighton, has promised a 10-point plan to cut emissions while doing the seemingly impossible and increasing their freight capacity at the same time. Among the other solutions being looked at are a ‘cargo village’ at the airport where freight can be sorted, eliminating the need to drive it to different nearby facilities for processing. There are plans for roads to be widened to accommodate the extra traffic, for a low-emission zone around the airport, and for more energy efficient vehicles such as electric and hybrid HGVs to be used on-site.

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