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Blog April 2023 Updated May 2024

sustainable transport management: Reducing Carbon emissions with Technology

How Technology Can Help Your Company Reduce Carbon Footprint in Transport and Logistics

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Henrik Lerke

Henrik Lerke

AMCS Transport Director EMEA

A recent report released in March 2023 suggests that Earth is approaching a crucial point in terms of global warming, expected to occur within the next decade. To prevent the planet from overheating dangerously beyond that level, nations will need to transition away from fossil fuels.

This urgent need for action has put a spotlight on sustainable practices in industries such as transportation and logistics, which are responsible for approximately 25% of global CO2 emissions. As such, there is a critical need for action, to make use of more sustainable transport management practices to reduce this industry’s carbon footprint.

But what’s the role of sustainable transport management and how can technology play a part in reducing carbon emissions in the transportation industry? In this blog, we'll explore the answers to these questions.

What is sustainable transport management?


Sustainable transport management aims to minimize the negative impact of transportation and logistics on the environment and society. This includes reducing CO2 emissions, as well as harmful emissions, noise pollution, and traffic congestion.

Companies in all sectors are undertaking many initiatives to achieve sustainability in logistics. For instance, the BMW Group has set ambitious sustainable logistics goals, while waste and recycling company Ortessa has committed itself to the Paris Agreement's objectives—using route optimization as one of the measure to operate more sustainably. Another example is the collaboration of Lenovo and Kuehne+Nagel, using sustainable aviation fuel to reduce the environmental footprint of air freight.

To give some context, here are some eye-opening statistics related to CO2 emissions from transport sector:

  • The transport sector is responsible for about 25% of global energy-related CO2 emissions and 95% of the world's transport energy still comes from fossil fuels.
  • Road transport is the top CO2 emitter in international trade, with heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) contributing over 50% due to their higher emission intensity.
  • In Europe, HDVs account for 5% of the total CO2 emissions, and the United States, HDVs account for 23% of the transportation sector's CO2 emissions.
  • To achieve the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, CO2 emissions from the sector must fall by about 3% per year from 5.86 Gt to 4.07 Gt CO2 in 2030.

Below image reference: IEA, Global CO2 emissions from transport by sub-sector in the Net Zero Scenario, 2000-2030, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/global-co2-emissions-from-transport-by-sub-sector-in-the-net-zero-scenario-2000-2030, IEA. Licence: CC BY 4.0
AMCS

The Role of Technology in reducing your carbon footprint

The use of renewable energy sources such as biodiesel, biogas, and hydrogen fuel cells, and electric hybrid trucks, have emerged as a solution to improve sustainability in the transport industry.

However, besides these solutions, measures such as data analytics, telematics, vehicle maintenance, and route optimization also contribute to emission reduction whilst at the same time improving business profitability. Let’s have a closer look:

Data Analytics

Business logistics is entering a new era defined by data, AI, and machines. In almost every industry, companies are generating vast amounts of data, and those that can harness and analyze it effectively are gaining a competitive edge.

The transport industry is no exception. For years, the logistics companies have been collecting data on everything from the movement of goods to vehicle performance, but until recently they lacked the tools and technology to connect the dots and make the most of it.

Fortunately, with the latest technological advancements, transport companies now have access to higher-quality data and tools at their disposal to analyze that data and make informed decisions (read more here) in near-real time.

By analyzing data like weather, traffic, IoT sensors, vehicle diagnostics, and location information, Logistics companies can monitor freight, optimize routes, reduce transport movements and traffic congestion, and lower CO2 emissions. For example, real-time data on traffic and weather can help planners avoid delays and reroute shipments to avoid congestion.

Furthermore, data analytics can help ensure vehicle health and longevity and keep track of drivers’ well-being. By monitoring vehicle performance data, companies can identify issues that might affect fuel efficiency or cause breakdowns.

Download the brochure below to learn about AMCS Analytics.

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Telematics

Telematics has revolutionized the way businesses monitor and manage their fleets. With real-time data on vehicle and driver behavior, operators and fleet managers can identify potential safety issues, optimize routes, and reduce fuel consumption. Beyond improving operational efficiency, telematics can also play a crucial role in supporting environmental sustainability.

By analyzing fuel usage and emissions data, companies can identify maintenance issues that may have gone unnoticed, such as engine faults or faulty fuel pumps, and take proactive steps to address them.

Small adjustments, like maintaining proper tire inflation using telematics, can also have a significant impact on fuel consumption and emissions. According to the US Department of Energy, maintaining the correct tire pressure can improve your gas mileage by an average of 0.6% and up to 3%.

Download the brochure below to learn about AMCS Telematics.

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Fleet Maintenance

Fleet maintenance and optimization are essential for the transport industry to improve its sustainability, reduce costs, and comply with environmental regulations. Proper maintenance and repair of vehicles can increase fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and extend the life of the fleet, leading to significant cost savings and a lower carbon footprint.

According to Freight Waves Sonar, repairs and maintenance constitute the fourth largest expense in operating a truck, amounting to $0.17 per mile or 9% of the total operating costs.

Therefore, by taking advantage of fleet maintenance software, companies can stay ahead of potential risks and accidents and keep their fleets running longer, ultimately reducing the need for new vehicles and ensuring a more sustainable future for the transport industry.

Download the brochure below to learn about AMCS Fleet Maintenance.

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Routing optimization software

Implementing intelligent route optimization software offers logistics businesses massive potential to improve utilization of resources and improve the customers service.

“It used to be that distributors could brag about how many kilometers we covered. Now, managing a responsible distribution operation is all about the most efficient and effective way to get products to customers with the least amount of driving and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Kenneth Jespersen, Rema Distribution Transport Manager.

Optimizing planning, resources and route management through advanced algorithms, can help determine the most efficient routes using the least amount of resources. This means a reduction of the overall numbers of trips, asset and driver usage, time on the road, less fuel consumption, and fewer emissions.

Not only that, but with an optimized planning you can expect to see a reduction in the amount of vehicles needed to carry out the job, further reducing the strain on the environment.

Download the brochure below to learn about AMCS Route Optimization software.

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Smart mobility

Smart mobility involves integrating different transport methods, such as bicycles, public transport, and cars, as well as concepts like shared cars, white label combined delivery or combined collection.

For example, PreZero and Renewi's joint venture, Green Collective, cuts transport movements and reduces CO2 emissions by combining collection routes for commercial waste in municipalities. It reduces collection traffic by up to 50%, saving up to 160 kg of CO2 for every 100 km. This demonstrates that by optimizing transport processes and collaborating with supply chain partners, you can reduce CO2 emissions.

Objections and Answers

One common objection to sustainable transport management is that it is expensive to implement. However, a recent study by Shell showed that digital solutions in transport and freight traffic can lead to immediate benefits - 5-20% savings in fuel costs and a 20% increase in efficiency. And at UPS, transport optimization saved as much as 200 million miles and $400 million annually.

The Good News?

At AMCS, our mission is to drive sustainability in resource intensive industries through automation and digital transformation to realize an economically viable net-zero carbon future. By leveraging cutting-edge technology and driving innovation, we are creating a future where transportation is both efficient and sustainable.

That's why AMCS offers a complete suite of transport management solutions designed to optimize operations and deliver excellent customer service, with zero compromise on sustainability.

Curious? Feel free to contact us, we would like to show you what the AMCS Transport Management System can do for you.

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