In the last decade, Ernsts Express has carried out a number of projects to upgrade its containers using high-strength steel in order to reduce weight and extend service life. The most recent project targeted the company’s 35-cubic-meter hook lift containers, which were upgraded with SSAB’s Hardox® 450, replacing the previous 355 MPa standard steel.
Christer Steingruber is the chairman of the board of Ernsts Express and the son of the company’s founder, Ernst Steingruber. He admits that he is impressed with the weight reduction that has been achieved.
“The upgrade of our hook lift containers to Hardox® reduced the weight of each container by 700 kg. For an entire rig, which is made up of three containers, the weight reduction – and thereby the payload capacity increase – is 2,100 kg,” he says.
This allows for more payload per trip and also reduces the fuel consumption of the empty vehicle. The removal of stiffeners on the sides has also resulted in less wind drag, which has further reduced the fuel consumption.
“Our calculations show that applying SSAB EcoUpgraded on Ernsts Express’ hook lift containers will save more than 100 tons of CO2 during the lifespan of one truck with a set of three containers,” adds SSAB’s Jonas Larsson, director of environmental affairs. “The main reason is the reduced fuel consumption – which adds up to about 35,000 liters of fuel saved over 12 years – while another contributing factor is the reduced amount of steel needed to produce the containers.”
According to Ernst Express’ CEO, Roger Blom, the company’s sustainable profile is good for business too.
“We’re facing tougher environmental demands, both from a legislative point of view and in the tender requests we receive from customers. SSAB EcoUpgraded allows us to strengthen our offering using environmental arguments,” he says, adding that he would encourage other companies to participate in the SSAB EcoUpgraded program.
“If you have the opportunity to join this initiative, you really have nothing to lose. SSAB provides all the necessary support, as well as backing with sales arguments and data samples to demonstrate the CO2 savings,” concludes Blom.
Ernsts Express is a privately owned Swedish trucking company that has been in business for more than 60 years. Founded in 1955 in Avesta, north of Stockholm, the company has grown from a one-man operation to one of the Sweden’s 10 largest trucking companies. It currently employs around 160 people and operates more than 100 heavy vehicles. The company prides itself on its sustainability profile and is constantly seeking new ways to increase capacity, improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact.www.ernstsexpress.se
By Isabelle KligerPhoto: Henrik Hansson
This article has been published on SSAB World magazine’s issue 1/2017.