FPInnovations, Manac and Cascades unveil state-of-the-art, streamlined semi trailer for freight shipments developed in Quebec

Thu, Sep 22, 2011

POINTE-CLAIRE, QC, Sept. 22, 2011 (CNW) -FPInnovations, Manac and Cascades delivered today a cutting-edge, aerodynamic semi trailer for freight shipments in North America, as part of a high-tech project adapted and developed in Québec.

Thanks in part to $50,000 in financial support from the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) and wind-tunnel tests carried out over the past few months by the aerodynamics research section of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Université Laval, the new semi trailer was delivered today for EnergotestTM track tests in Blainville, conducted under FPInnovations' PIT Program. The participating companies, the MTQ and Université Laval worked twice as hard to complete this project in record time.

The perceived advantages of the new technology are as follows:

  • an average 12% reduction in aerodynamic drag, which could potentially lead to a fuel economy of up to 6%;
  • no impact with respect to transport regulations, enabling flexible integration in Canada, the United States and Mexico;
  • from the environmental perspective, a potential 14-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions per semi trailer in service.

The idea for the new semi trailer was launched by FPInnovations, which was able to combine technology developed in Europe with cutting-edge Québec expertise in engineering (Université Laval) and manufacturing (Manac) to develop a product adapted to North American roads. The inclusion of an end user in the team enabled the development of an innovative product with impressive potential for the project partners and the entire freight transport industry. The sales potential for the North American semi trailer market is about 64,000 units per year, worth over $1.5 billion.

According to Marc Berthiaume, Manac Engineering Department Manager, "Manac is always interested in participating in initiatives leading to the development of eco-energy technologies, especially with a team of partners as dynamic, painstaking and inspiring as this."

In the words of Jean-Yves Delisle, Executive Director of Cascades Transport Inc., "Cascades' involvement in the aerodynamic semi trailer project is in keeping with a long series of green transportation initiatives. This partnership was therefore totally natural for us."

Yves Provencher, Director of FPInnovations' PIT Program, had the following to say: "Our team has put together the best knowledge and cutting-edge technology for the benefit of the transportation industry - in this case, the trucking sector. The contribution by the MTQ and excellent partners like Manac, Cascades and Université Laval are key factors for deploying innovative projects like the semi trailer initiative."

About FPInnovations' PIT Program

The Project Innovation Transport (PIT) program brings together researchers, managers of vehicle fleets, technology providers and government agencies to improve every phase of the transportation system. By working together and harnessing the latest technological and operational innovations, PIT delivers tangible solutions that comply with government legislation. This approach ensures swift implementation and a high return on investment. For more information, visit

About FPInnovations

FPInnovations is a not‐for‐profit R&D and innovation world leader that specializes in the creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's global competitiveness and responds to the priority needs of its industrial and government members. It is ideally positioned to carry out research, innovate and deliver cutting-edge solutions for all segments in the forest sector value chain, from forestry operations to consumer and industrial products. FPInnovations' staff numbers more than 500. Its R&D laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, Thunder Bay and Vancouver, and it has technology transfer offices across Canada. For more information about FPInnovations, visit

About Manac

Since its inception in 1966, Manac has been designing, manufacturing and marketing Canada's broadest line of semi trailers for over-the-road, construction, forestry and agricultural uses. Manac operates plants in Ville de Saint-Georges, in Oran and in Kennett, Missouri. Its head office is located Saint-Georges-de-Beauce, Québec. Two other plants are located in Oran and Kennett, Missouri. For more information about Manac, visit

About Cascades

Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products composed mainly of recycled fibres. Cascades employs close to 11,000 people, who work in more than 100 production units located in North America and Europe. Cascades' management philosophy, its more than 45 years of experience in recycling and its continued efforts in research and development are strengths that enable the company to create new products for its customers. Cascades' shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol CAS.

About Cascades Transport

Cascades Transport Inc. provides Cascades plants with logistics and freight transportation services. Its areas of specialization include transport over short and long distances, storage, dispatching, customs services, vehicle rentals and mechanical maintenance. It employs over 200 people at four terminals. Cascades Transport has a fleet of about 100 trucks and 450 trailers, which convey Cascades' environmentally responsible image, a true source of pride, across North America.

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