Solarity uses intermodal transportation for a greener tomorrow

Companies involved in the solar energy sector occasionally face questions regarding the carbon footprint in relation to the manufacturing and transportation of components. As a distribution company we are hands-off when it comes to production, but we can make changes in the sector we are responsible for: Delivery and shipping methods to our warehouses and our customers.

At the end of 2019, we decided to act by reducing emissions on transportation using combined transport. Our test route was from our suppliers’ warehouse in Rotterdam area to our deposit in Hostivice near Prague.

This project had to be put on-hold due to COVID-19, but now that the situation has stabilised, from August, we plan to use intermodal transportation for most of our imports and even some deliveries to our clients’ place

What is the concept of combined transport?

Combined transport is a specific case of intermodal transport where a more substantial part of the route is carried out by water or by rail. We use the Ro-La (rolling highway) system, where the whole truck or its semi-trailer loads onto a train without additional need for goods handling. More specifically, our partner LKW Walter loads the modules into the truck in the supplier’s warehouse. Then the truck travels to the nearest railway station where it is loaded onto a train set to the Czech Republic where it is then folded and continues by road to our warehouse. 

The journey of the PV modules from the manufacturers to our warehouse using intermodal transport.

How much CO2 did we save?

Not only have saved CO2 emissions by launching our One tree planted per order project, we are saving some more with combined transportation. Even if it is slower and might be more expensive than road transport by shorter roads,  the priorities and values of our company are clear, especially when it comes to reducing our environmental impact. The pilot project consisted of 10 shipments in which we saved 3440 kg of CO2. This year we plan most of our modules imports from the warehouses in Rotterdam using combined transport and the estimated CO2 reduction is between 65 and 70 tons!

Our colleague Tomas responsible for the project and the CO2 reduction certificate.