Sustainability report 2017/18

Transport and logistics

As a rule, our machines are large-size heavy goods that are transported once after manufacture to their destination to fulfill their task for as many years as possible without being moved again.

That is, they are long-lasting products that are ideally transported only once. A sustainable approach to this transport is particularly important to us. We are aware of the responsibility associated with the delivery of large and heavy goods. Ultimately, bundling and coordinating deliveries are a key lever for reducing CO2 emissions and the overall footprint of a machine. The subject of time and resource management in this area is noticeably more important for our customers and us than in previous years. The three most important aspects that we can use to influence the carbon footprint are procurement, distribution and disposal logistics. We additionally have an influence on order picking and packaging, each of which are aided by digitization measures such as platform and cloud solutions that, for example, offer coordinated deliveries and prevent uncontrolled several individual deliveries of the raw materials we require.

The significance of time schedules for the carbon footprint

From a sustainability point of view, we consider the entire control and planning of the material flow of goods within our company - from the supplier to on-time delivery of the finished machinery to the agreed location. Our basic principle is to individually plan, coordinate and carry out each individual transport order while taking into account in-house requirements, the respective wishes and requirements of our customers, the agreed terms of delivery and the modes of transport used. All in all, it can be stated that our customers are increasingly ordering machines just in time in order to avoid storage costs and possible warehousing damage at the point of destination.

For KHS, this means taking care of coordination and delivery planning well in advance. Exact adherence to time schedules is therefore of particular importance - because if the machine is finished, dismantled and readied for packaging later than agreed, this will have direct consequences on the logistical processes of transport. For example, this may mean that we will have to choose a disadvantageous mode of transport (such as unplanned air freight), carry out undesirable partial deliveries, make special or empty trips or not be able to optimally utilize loading capacities. Realistic time scheduling can avoid these increased burdens on the environment. We thus work out the planned transport routes in detail to prevent any delays and to find the ideal shipping company.

Ralf Naujoks is head of Distribution Logistics at KHS.

KHS uses "multimodal transport"

The choice of resource-conserving means of transport is crucial for achieving a better carbon footprint. For this reason, relocating freight from road to rail transport would be a welcome alternative but infrastructure is still lacking. We have therefore switched years ago from shipping our heavy goods on roads to riverways. Heavy goods are loaded in the inland ports such as Mannheim and Dortmund and transported to major overseas ports.

Ralf Naujoks, head of distribution logistics at KHS, is involved in transport operations of this kind in what is called combined or multimodal transport, where the initial delivery (or follow-up delivery) is transported by truck and the main delivery is transported by inland waterway vessels. If necessary, he also gets in touch with authorities in the heavy goods transport approval process. He and the representative of the shipping company attended a meeting that was recently held with a member of the regional authorities involved. The reason for this was the opening of a transshipment facility on a waterway on behalf of KHS about which the authority had questions regarding the upcoming run-up to the transshipment terminal.

"I actively support these transport routes because I am convinced of their ecobalance and efficiency. I want to contribute to improving the carbon footprint over the life cycle of our machinery and equipment through my area of responsibility," says Naujoks, explaining his commitment.

During the meeting, the responsible official of the regional authorities told the participants that the KHS' attitude on the issue of 'relocating shipments to water and rail' was exemplary in comparison to many other shippers. In this branch of industry, goods are frequently transported the entire distance from the starting point to the destination only on roadways. The existing legal provisions on the priority of combined or multimodal transport in the heavy goods transport area would of course also benefit climate protection. The specifications were issued in particular for the protection of the infrastructure and have already been complied with by our company, said the pleased agency employee. He hopes that the other shippers can be persuaded to do likewise in the future and also explained that the current version of the "Inland Waterway Transport Master Plan" is intended, among other things, as a measure to strengthen the legislation for primary use of inland waterways (and rail).