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 min read.|24 Apr 24

On the Road to Green: Sustainable Logistics Operations in 2024

In the fight against climate change, the need to reduce carbon emissions in the logistics industry cannot be overstated. Afterall, the sector is estimated to account for over a third of global CO2 emissions, according to research by the International Standards Organisaiton (ISO).

The positive is the opportunity to lead the way with sustainable logistics operations that can achieve vital emissions reductions. As one of the largest-emitting sectors, action is needed now. In fact, the ISO calculates that to meet net zero carbon targets by 2050, transport sector emissions must fall 3% every year to 2030.

An ambitious target perhaps, but one that we at CtrlChain believe can be achieved. The big question is how?

A big part of becoming less-carbon intensive is the adoption of new smart technologies that foster innovation and increase efficiency. Another key aspect is partnership, like the one CtrlChain has with JustDiggit, a landscape restoration project to offset carbon emissions and promote environmental conservation.

Read on to discover how CtrlChain helps reduce fuel consumption and emissions, prevent empty kilometres and improve accountability among supply chain partners.


Optimising Logistics and Transport Management

For efforts to reverse the impact of climate change to be successful, we all need to adopt a positive, action-driven mindset. Each of us has a part to play, and in transport and logistics, the tools are available to help.

There’s plenty of evidence that digital technologies are already reducing emissions at the level needed to meet carbon-reduction targets. But, these solutions need to be more widely adopted.

Research by Accenture and the World Economic Forum suggests that digital technology can deliver as much as 20% of the reduction needed to meet the net-zero target, but only if employed at scale.

One such solution is route optimisation - the process of using data, algorithms, and software to determine the most efficient and eco-friendly routes for transportation. Route optimisation balances numerous variables to achieve the most cost-effective and efficient delivery scenario.

With route optimisation, logistics companies can move more goods with reduced fuel consumption for a lower carbon footprint. The evidence is compelling. One study shows that using optimised routes can reduce the distance driven by 10%, fuel consumption by 11% and emission 10% each month.


Reducing the Detrimental Impact of Empty Kilometres

Empty kilometres are the mileage that’s accumulated while driving an empty container or trailer. And as we all know empty containers mean fuel costs, vehicle wear and tear, less profit, and needless CO2 emissions.

This happens when goods are delivered to storage or logistics hubs and the driver has to return with no outward freight. A truck must therefore travel empty to reload, often over a considerable distance.

At EU level, one fifth (20.2%) of the total distances traveled were covered by empty vehicles in 2022, as reported by Eurostat.

In both financial and environmental terms, there’s a significant price to pay. The negative impact of empty runs and underutilised cargo space contributes to unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions.

The good news is that solutions do exist. Empty kilometres, they can be removed with modern digital methods that schedule deliveries better. All-in-one logistics platforms use Artificial Intelligence, blockchains, and Big Data Analytics to automate the tracking, regulation, and control of logistics operation.

This is done by collecting and processing large amounts of information to better connect and predict events in the logistics chain. It empowers companies to use occupancy and route data to automatically distribute deliveries and choose the best transport and optimal route for every load to reduce fuel consumption.

In this way, digitalisation is improving backhauling and providing new collaborative shipping and dynamic routing possibilities to eliminate empty kilometres.

When shippers and carriers work together they can co-load freight to improve capacity utilisation and match freight lanes to create continuous move routes that are more reliable.

This kind of dynamic, data-backed routing uses real-time information to assess the optimal route for deliveries. This helps delivery management and drivers react quickly to changes and avoid potential issues that cause unwanted delays and extra mileage.


Enhanced Supply Chain Visibility

To reduce their environmental impact, shippers and carriers need visibility of every touch point in their supply chain. This involves having shipment tracking information and data on inventory levels, delivery times, transportation costs, warehouse capacity, demand, and supplier performance.

Having this allows companies to gather and share information more efficiently with customers and stakeholders, reducing risks, build resilience and improving sustainability outcomes. Traceability means having information to trace your supply chain, while transparency is passing on the information you uncover.

Ultimately, supply chain visibility allows stakeholders to track products from origin to destination, ensuring ethical sourcing, and reducing environmental impact. Embracing partnerships for sustainable logistics strengthens these efforts.

Embracing Partnerships for Sustainable Logistics

Today building strategic partnerships is critical to overcoming the challenges facing the logistics industry. From regulators and logistics companies to suppliers and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), collaboration for sustainability is the best way to define the key issues, share expertise, and deliver the best solutions.

At CrtlChain, we’re proud to say that we’re playing our part. Our partnership with JustDiggit is leveraging technology and expertise to restore degraded landscapes and mitigate climate change impacts. JustDiggit is a grassroots organisation that’s regreening Africa to help cool down the planet.

The CtrlChain's platform integrates with JustDiggit's landscape restoration projects to offset carbon emissions and promote environmental conservation. Through this partnership we are contributing to offset up to 200% of our carbon footprint, ensuring we make a positive impact on our planet.

To date we have offset over 16 million kilometres driven and over 11,550 tonnes of CO2 by helping to regenerate more than 60,000 trees and 16.5 million square metres of regreened land.

We’re actively helping our shippers offset their emissions with ongoing carbon sequestration and biodiversity restoration initiates. And let’s not forget, this is about people, so far our partnership with JustDiggit has positively influenced the lives of 5,595 people.


Contributing to a Greener Future

As one of the main contributors to global COS emissions the transport and logistics sector is at a crossroads. To accelerate towards a greener future, a change of gear is needed. Through optimisation, traceability, transparency, partnerships, and innovative collaborations the logistics sector can drive positive change.

Don’t wait to embed sustainable practices in your logistics operation. Now is the time to act by embracing new opportunities and supporting initiatives that contribute to a greener future. Get in touch to find out how.



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