As part of its effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Virgin Atlantic Cargo has started using lightweight cargo nets with “Dyneema,” a fiber made from ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene. The carrier’s goal is to reduce is CO2 emissions by 30 percent in 2020.
Weighing about 20 pounds each, the nets represent almost a 9-pound savings on the weight of a traditional cargo net, which is used to secure shipments of pallets. The 600 nets initially ordered by Virgin Atlantic have a five-year life span, compared to the two-to-three-year average for conventional netting.
“Last year we took delivery of our first lightweight cargo containers, and using lightweight nets is another opportunity for us to reduce emissions. We expect to have some 1,800 of these nets in use by the end of 2015,” said Paul Fallon, vice president, cargo operations and business development. “We are also looking at the latest lightweight pallets that have come onto the market and expect to trial these to measure the benefits they can offer, too.”
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has already invested in more than 1,100 lightweight LD3 containers as part of a program to phase out 3,200 heavier air cargo units. The new containers are 35 pounds lighter than the old LD3s they have replaced. Replacing older, heavier cargo bins and pallets with lighter ones will reduce fuel consumption and save around 2,000 tonnes in CO2 emissions.