The Herculight pallet was jointly developed by Driessen-Zodiac Aerospace and Air France-KLM Cargo. Searching for a way to reduce emissions, thereby also saving costs the aviation indusrty is permanently looking for ways to reduce weight. By developing a pallet built from composite materials instead of aluminium, cargo operators can reduce their emissions considerably. The new pallet is up to 35% lighter thean the traditional version, leading to fuel savings aproximately $3000 on an annual basis.
The aviation industry is increasingly faced with rising fuel prices, along with new mechanisms for pricing carbon emissions. In order to save costs, comply with environmental standards and driven by corporate social responsibility goals, airlines are trying to reduce aircraft weight as much as possible in order to save fuel. One of the major purpose of aircrafts is for cargo transports, responsible for a signiificant portion of carbon emissions world wide. As most cargo is transported on pallets, there is a considerable gain in designing light-weight pallets. Driessen (Zodiac Aerospace) is the first company to design a pallet fully constructed from composite material, which are up to 35% lighter than the current standard, aluminium. Whereas aluminium pallets weigh around 104kg on average, the new design has reduced this to 67kg on average. This could lead to fuel savings of around 3000$ on average. Additionaly, the manufacturing process of making composite pallets is far less energy-intensive than the aluminium version. Finally, these materials are fully recyclable. In order to make use of the knowledge of the aviation industry, Driessen cooperated with Air France-KLM Cargo both during the development phase as well as during testing.
Barriers and Drivers
A major driver has been that the aviation industry is increasingly faced with rising fuel prices, along with new mechanisms for pricing carbon emissions. In order to save costs, comply with environmental standards and driven by corporate social responsibility goals, airlines are trying to reduce aircraft weight as much as possible in order to save fuel. Aditionnaly, due to the current economic situation companies have been focusing on cost-cutting to improve their profitability. The Herculight pallet fits int this strategy.
By saving weight, cargo operators can reduce fuel costs considerably, leading to savings of $3000 on average on a yearly basis.
The weight reduction in pallets will lead to reduced fuel use, thereby contributing to reducing the release of green house gases and saving scarce resources. Besides this, the new Herculight pallets are made of several composite materials that require a fraction of the energy needed to produce aluminium, a material which requires an enormous amount of energy to be produced. and because the pallets are fully recyclable, waste is reduced to a minimum.
More information can be found here: http://driessen.com/pub/cargoequipment/herculight_pallets/index.html