Circular economy put into practice

Technical Service department recycles semitrailer curtains into saddlebags.

Today, sustainability is a commonly used word, but nothing new to our Technical Services department in Oss. Nearly 30 years ago they successfully integrated their first recycling project(s) and ever since are using more and more recycled products in their workshop.

Frank Pfeiffer from the Technical Services department in Oss has worked for Vos Logistics for over 30 years and has seen many positive changes over this time. The Technical Services department has their own workshop with technicians who carry out repairs and periodic vehicle inspections on transport equipment. The department also works closely together with Fleet Services (Romania) and the other workshops all over Europe. Frank oversees all the parts that are needed in the workshops and by the drivers: “We started with recycling parts that were used by our drivers. We saw that drivers from one Business Unit were short of a part and other Business Units had several in stock. To make this more efficient, reduce costs and prevent unnecessary purchases, we initiated that our drivers can return their goods to us and we will make sure the Business Units in need will receive the goods.”


Waterproof saddlebags

Over the years the possibilities of recycling became more and more extensive. Frank: “A great example are the transport equipment curtainsiders: we have found a way to completely recycle them. We dissemble the curtains and separate the aluminum bars that are inside the curtains from the belt buckles and the curtain material. The aluminum bars are being sent to a construction company that transforms them into ‘coty bars’, (‘coty bars’ are an in-house development by the Technical Services department. These are foldable racks that hold the loads of our transport equipment in place). The belt buckles are being reused within the workshop and the curtain material is sold to a company that turns them into bags, for example waterproof saddlebags.”

coty bar


Benefits of recycling

Of course, it costs our technicians more time to dissemble the transport equipment, but the extra work is nothing compared to all the benefits of recycling. It is better for our environment and it reduces costs. Frank explains: “We initiated a system to circulate used brake calipers to reduce costs. Our technicians collect them and we then send them back to our suppliers for inspection. This means we don’t need to buy all brake calipers new but can use the refurbished ones for 30% of the new price and less brake calipers need be produced overall.”

Currently the Technical Services department is able to recycle 13% to 15% of the materials and is aiming to increase this percentage. They can achieve this by searching for second hand parts and new parts made out of recycled materials, like the plastic panels that are used for the patented Vos Logistics concepts: the CuBoLiner® and the CuboTainer®. The CuBoLiner® is a trailer and the CuboTainer® is a swap body. In the side walls of the latter recycled plastic panels are used which improve safety and the movement of goods when transporting textiles and tires, for example. The panels also make possible theft more difficult. Watch the video on how the CuBoLiner® works here.