CEVA Logistics, ENGIE, SANEF kick off proof of concept for low-carbon, long-distance road transport in Europe

CEVA Logistics, ENGIE, and SANEF—partners in the European Clean Transport Network (ECTN) Alliance—launched the proof of concept of the low-carbon, long-distance road transport network.


  • The proof-of-concept project covers 900 kilometers between Avignon and Lille in France, with four highway segments between five relay stations.
  • Over a two-year period, it will test in real-life conditions low-carbon, long-distance freight transport on France’s highways.
  • Launched by the ECTN Alliance, the large-scale test involves all road transport stakeholders (trucking companies, truck drivers, customers, energy suppliers, motorway operators, truck manufacturers, public authorities, etc.) in an open, cooperative approach.
  • The ECTN Alliance is also carrying out a feasibility study to assess the concept's deployment across all of Europe.

Press Release – Dec. 7, 2023 – Paris, France

On Monday, Nov. 20, CEVA Logistics, ENGIE, and SANEF—partners in the European Clean Transport Network (ECTN) Alliance—launched the proof of concept of the low-carbon, long-distance road transport network.

First announced in March, the Network’s pilot program covers a distance of more than 900 kilometers in France between Avignon and Lille, aiming to demonstrate the ECTN concept to facilitate the decarbonization of long-distance road freight transport. The concept would not require specific technological innovations, but rather relies on a network of terminals for low-carbon truck refueling and trailer exchange.

By providing transporters with a solution based on alternative energies to diesel for long-distance freight transport, the concept addresses shipping customers’ demands for decarbonizing their cargo flows, while also aligning with the growing need for energy transition.

“Relay Station” Network with 16 Trucks

The Alliance’s concept draws inspiration from the traditional “relay” concept by establishing relay stations equipped with electric charging stations and bioCNG refueling pumps for trucks along the existing highway network. At these relay stations, trailers are disconnected and reconnected to a new tractor unit and driver for the next segment for transport.

The test route between Avignon and Lille is divided into four segments between: Avignon (Vaucluse) - Lyon (Rhône) - Dijon (Côte-d’Or) - Sommesous (Marne) - Lille (Nord). Each truck completes two round trips per day between two of these relay stations. This daily round-trip principle on a defined road segment contributes to improving working conditions for truck drivers and making the profession more attractive by reducing the distance travelled between home and work.



Each member of the ECTN Alliance is contributing its expertise to the implementation of the pilot:

  • CEVA established relay stations at its Avignon, Lyon, Dijon, and Lille branches and has set up a control tower in Valenciennes to supervise cargo flows and to monitor transit times and energy consumption.
  • ENGIE is installing and operating electric charging stations and biogas distribution pumps.
  • SANEF is hosting a relay station at its Sommesous service area.

Starting initially with four bioGNC trucks operated by F.D.E. Transports, the pilot will gradually expand to include 16 trucks, including 12 electric ones, and will welcome new transport partners and shippers. Ultimately, the program aims to enable the 16 semi-trailers to traverse the network five days a week—eight traveling northward from the Marseille-Avignon commercial area and eight others to travel southward from Lille.

Major names in commerce and industry, such as Intermarché Food Logistics and Heineken, are expressing their interest in the ECTN concept and are participating in the trial, entrusting some of their cargo flows to be transported through the ECTN network.

Open, cooperative development approach

The ECTN concept is designed to be open to various stakeholders, including trucking companies, truck drivers, shipping customers, energy suppliers, motorway operators, truck manufacturers, and public authorities. All stakeholders are invited to participate in the Network’s development and the proof of concept.

Processes and software tools will be developed and improved to transmit low-carbon traction certificates to customers with unprecedented precision and ensure real-time supervision of the complete system, including the 16 low-carbon trucks, six electric charging stations, and numerous bioCNG refueling stations.

Simultaneously, a feasibility study has been launched by a team of experts in logistics (CEVA), motorway management and operation (SANEF), and low-carbon, heavy-duty mobility (ENGIE), as well as experts from ENGIE Impact and Carbone 4. The study aims to model the entire concept as it might eventually be deployed across Europe. Expected in the coming months, the results will provide an estimate of the Network’s potential contribution to decarbonize long-distance road transport at the European level. The study will also outline the conditions that would enable the concept’s full implementation.

Luc Nadal, Managing Director of CEVA Logistics Europe, said, “The ECTN project has been more than two years in the making. By combining the skills and expertise of three major French companies, with the support of our partners and customers, we have brought together all the conditions needed to provide a concrete response to the critical challenge of decarbonizing road freight transport in Europe. When we see what is happening with the electric car, we can make that possible for heavy goods vehicles, with the support of European public authorities. This experiment is a first step towards a large-scale transformation of our industry, with considerable benefits for the environment.”

Relay Refueling Station


About CEVA Logistics

CEVA Logistics, a world leader in third-party logistics, provides global supply chain solutions to connect people, products and providers all around the world. Headquartered in Marseille, France, CEVA Logistics offers a broad range of end-to-end, customized solutions in both Contract Logistics and Freight Management in 170 countries worldwide thanks to its approximately 110,000 employees at more than 1,300 facilities. With pro forma 2021 revenue of US$17 billion, CEVA Logistics is part of the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions.


ENGIE is a global reference in low-carbon energy and services. With its 96,000 employees, its customers, partners and stakeholders, the Group is committed to accelerate the transition towards a carbon-neutral world, through reduced energy consumption and more environmentally-friendly solutions. Inspired by its purpose (“raison d’être”), ENGIE reconcile economic performance with a positive impact on people and the planet, building on its key businesses (gas, renewable energy, services) to offer competitive solutions to its customers.

Turnover in 2022: 93.9 billion Euros. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (ENGI) and is represented in the main financial indices (CAC 40, Euronext 100, FTSE Euro 100, MSCI Europe) and non-financial indices (DJSI World, Euronext Vigeo Eiris - Europe 120 / France 20, MSCI EMU ESG screened, MSCI EUROPE ESG Universal Select, Stoxx Europe 600 ESG-X).

About Sanef group

A subsidiary of the Abertis group, world leader in motorway management, the Sanef group operates 1,807 kilometers of motorways, mainly in Ile-de-France, Normandy, and in the North and East of France.

The group's 2,300 employees work every day, 24 hours a day, to ensure the safety and comfort of all their customers. A partner of the French government and the municipalities crossed by its network of motorways, the Group is committed to encouraging new mobility, promoting road safety and fighting global warming.

Main subsidiaries: Sapn and Bip&Go.


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