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Sustainability and Logistics – how small changes can do big things

Posted by Bojan Šneberger on Jan 8, 2018 2:19:00 PM
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Increasing sustainability in the logistics sector is simpler than anywhere else – because here, going green does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with big changes in production or design. No, fighting climate change means increasing efficiency. And optimising processes usually leads to cost reduction. Luckily enough, there are manifold solutions to reduce Carbon emissions over the course of the supply chain. Let’s take a look at the most interesting trends.

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Roughly 25% of truck kilometres in the EU are running empty. This underutilization of assets does not only weigh heavy on a budget, but also contributes to a significant rise of Carbon emissions overall. Most products nowadays are sourced from various locations, so reducing emissions during delivery is key.

The US-based startup Cargomatric proposes a solution: it provides a platform that connects trucking companies and commercial shipping companies. This digital solution allows shippers to access spare capacity in real time and at very cheap rates, since the space would otherwise remain unused. Carriers profit from never travelling empty, and the climate rejoices.

To fight congestion and air pollution in densely populated areas, cities go even further. Stockholm and London are one of the first metropoles to establish “Consolidation Centres” in their outskirts. The aim of these centres is to minimise the number of delivery vehicles in city centres by consolidating freight from different industries, and delivering them all at once.  

Going green means being smart.

Deutsche Post is currently trialling so-called “Smart Trucks” for express parcel deliveries. The truck uses dynamic tour planning that integrates up-to-date traffic information, SMS notifications for pick-ups and exact driver positioning. These changes allow a more agile reaction and interaction with the truck’s surroundings, and lead to a reduction of Carbon emissions by 10% - 15%.

The Last Mile problematic.

Overall, the Last Mile is where things get complicated (but more on that in the special blog post on Last mile). Especially the delivery of parcels requires vast logistical resources. This has not gone unnoticed by big leaders in the sector.

Amazon has begun to invest in the development of “Parcel Lockers” that hold parcels until they are picked up by the customer. This elegant solution does not only reduce travelled kilometres per product, but also increase customer satisfaction: a win-win situation! Customers do not have to queue at their post office, they can choose exactly where and when to collect their desired parcel – even during the middle of the night.

Increasing sustainability does not happen overnight. It is a process that fosters – especially in the logistics sector – collaboration. Better control of goods’ location permits carriers to adopt more individualised approaches to a successful delivery that takes both increased efficiency and sustainability into account.

Every big change begins with one first step. Let us discuss how we can improve your efficiency – and how you can incorporate sustainability in all of your processes.

 Check out how we can help you transform parcel and postal digitally.  

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Topics: intralogistics, parcel and postal, digital transformation, sustainability

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