Are gigaliners the future of long-haul transportation in Europe?

Nov 20 | 2020

With the ability to transport up to 20 tons more cargo in just one trip, gigaliners promise less congestion and lower emissions, but they’re also facing strong criticism because of the impact on the road network, rail transport, and safety. So, what is the outlook for these giants on European roads?

Gigaliners could have a place for long-haul European movesGigaliners, eurocombis, megatrucks, super lorries, or Longer Heavier Vehicles (LHVs) – these are all names of large goods vehicles with a total length of up to 25.25m and a maximum permissible weight of up to 60 tons. These vehicles may well have applications in the European moving industry, particularly if consolidation continues with more international business being performed by fewer, larger companies.

Gigaliners wer already approved in the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark when Germany’s officials expressed interest in them too, having high hopes about decreasing highway traffic. Germany ran an extensive five-year test before finally allowing gigaliners on its roads in 2017. The Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), which ran the tests, concluded that allowing megatrucks would result in up to 25% fuel savings. Positive effects on pollution are also hard to ignore with claims of up to 30% reduction on CO2 emissions.

On the flip side, making truck transport cheaper and thereby more attractive might increase demand that could oppose long-term efforts to move more transport from roads to rail, thus creating a bad impact on the environment. This has been by far the biggest critique coming from the experts. However, there are obvious limits to the flexibility of rail transport, especially for household goods traffic.

So, are we going to see more gigaliners on European roads? By looking at past developments, it seems that, despite the initial hesitation, change is the only way forward. Since past trials have yielded very promising results in terms of cost-efficiency and there’s also ongoing pressure to lower fuel emissions, more and more countries might allow gigaliners on their roads, perhaps with restrictions. For fleets and drivers, this means addressing two things: safety and navigating on a new, much more restricted road network, including complications with rest stop planning.

The newest releases of GPS navigation systems for fleets allow users to select LHV-approved roads as a preference in the settings, enabling them to avoid unnecessary complications and increase safety and the on-time delivery of their cargos.

Article supplied courtesy of Sygic navigation systems.

Photo: Gigaliners could have a place for long-haul European moves.