Mumbai: TNT India, a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based courier company TNT Express, plans to run its entire fleet of 2,500 vehicles delivering documents and cargo on bio-diesel. The move is expected to help it cut its fuel cost by around 6.66% on an average. Fuel costs currently account for almost 30-35% of TNT’s total costs.
TNT’s bio-fuel initiative in India is part of a global initiative that the company has embarked on in Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. In India, it has already put a few heavy load trucks on bio-fuel to study variations in mileage, engine efficiency and speed, with the intention of converting its entire fleet to the fuel by the end of 2007.
When that happens, TNT will become the first private transport company to move to bio-fuels in the country. At present, the company is using bio-diesel, which contains 5% of oil extracted from plants in combination with 95% of traditional fuel, and the ratio of the first, derived from seeds of the Jatropha plant, may go up to 25%, said Abhik Mitra, managing director, TNT India. “Gearing up to that scenario, we will work closely with automobile companies to make the appropriate changes in the engine design, etc., to facilitate this increase,” he added
TNT is sourcing the bio-fuel from Chennai-based Southern Online Biotech Company for its experiment. “Once the trial run is over, we may work out an expanded bio-fuel supply deal within the country as our requirement will be huge,” said Mitra. He said the bio-fuel drive is not motivated by costs alone. “As an express company, we use quite a large fleet of vehicles. It is our commitment to reduce the pollution and also initiate the bio-fuel culture in the country,” he said.
Analysts who did not wish to be identified said the company could pass on any cost benefits arising from the move to bio-diesel to customers, giving it an edge over its rivals.
Recently, TNT India acquired Speedage Express Cargo Services, a large road transport firm.