Jul 312015

Greetings IFRTT members,

This month’s newsletter comes to you from the deep south.  We are now in the middle of our winter and this year in Auckland it has been unusually cold over the last month or so.  Night-time temperatures have dropped to the low single digits (centigrade) and daytime temperatures have been around 12 degrees.  North American and European members can stop laughing now.  For us this feels cold.

The dates for HVTT14 have now been set.  The conference will be held in Rotorua from Tuesday November 15th – Friday November 18th, 2016.  There was some discussion at HVTT13 about the potential clash with the ICWIM7 conference in Rio de Janeiro.  ICWIM7 is scheduled for Nov 7-10th.  Thus it is possible for delegates to attend both conferences as part of a single trip if they wish.

We have arranged with the editor of the International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems for a selection of HVTT14 papers to be published in the journal.  These papers will be required to go through the normal peer-review process.  The purpose of this is to make the conference more attractive for our colleague in academia who are judged by their publication list.  It is envisaged that only the more technical/academic papers would be submitted for journal publication and this will be a relatively small proportion of the conference papers.  HVTT14 will continue the tradition of soliciting papers from all stakeholders in the road transport sector and whether an author submits the paper for journal publication or not will have no bearing on whether or not it is accepted for the conference.  All conference papers will continue to be available through the IFRTT web-site.  A call for papers will be issued shortly.

Next week the Institute of Road Transport Engineers of New Zealand (IRTENZ) will be having its 14th International Heavy Vehicle Seminar in Rotorua.  The first of these seminars was in 1985 and thus it pre-dates HVTT1.  A number of IFRTT board members are attending this conference as speakers.  IRTENZ are the sponsoring organisation for HVTT14 and so this will be an opportunity for some of IFRTT board to effectively preview HVTT14.

One other matter of interest that has cropped up here in the last month is the government’s announcement of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets ahead of the new international climate change agreement in December.  As is the way with politics, over the years the emission reduction targets have used different reference years (1990 and 2005) and different time horizons (2020, 2030 and 2050), which makes it quite hard to assess whether the new targets are more demanding or less demanding than previous ones.  My reading of it, is that New Zealand’s targets are similar to those of the USA but less demanding than those of the EU.  Without getting into the politics of whether this is an appropriate level or not, we can see that this will have implications for road transport.  In New Zealand, about 80% of our electricity generation is from renewable sources and so there is very little scope for reduction there.  We have major sources of GHG emissions in our agricultural sector, particularly dairy farming and considerable research effort is going into reducing these.  Road transport accounts for about 18% of our GHG emissions but more significantly these emissions increased by 66% over the 20 years since 1990 while overall emissions increased by only 19.4% over the same period.  About 80% of the emissions from road transport are generated by the light vehicle fleet so the road freight sector accounts for less than 20% of road transport emissions or less than 4% of total emissions.  Although this total contribution is relatively modest, there will be pressure on the industry to improve its performance.  I am sure that this will be the case in many other jurisdictions as well.  For us in the industry, this should represent opportunities.  Advanced engine technologies, improved aerodynamics, more productive vehicles, improved logistics, better inter-modal connectivity and so on, can all produce reductions in fuel use and hence GHG emissions.  I look forward to hearing all about it at HVTT14.


John de Pont

President, IFRTT

 Posted by at 8:53 am

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