For transport companies, sustainability is rapidly gaining priority. However, there is still a big difference between saying they will be investing and effectively doing so. While many shippers say they think sustainability is important, logistics providers do little or nothing about it. And there is still little demand for CO2 data. Obviously, the divergence between words and deeds will diminish. Under pressure from consumers and governments, there will be more action to deliver more sustainable logistics. A TMS is therefore the ideal software for measuring and processing emissions data and then doing something with all that information.

Requesting CO2 data

If you want to make a success of sustainability, you need to be able to exchange data easily with your partners in the supply chain. When selecting a logistics provider, you as a shipper or logistics provider can request CO2 emissions data. In addition, shippers can signal that they are willing to pay a higher rate if a carrier can transport a shipment sustainably, and vice versa. Carriers running electric trucks can obtain a higher ranking.

Sharing data with supply chain partners can also lead to better predictions about the emissions of a particular journey or the total journeys agreed with a carrier. If the data are exchanged digitally, this will help reduce paper documentation. Attention to choices of this kind is definitely increasing.

Insights into consumption data

One of the most important aspects for shippers is to know what CO2 emissions the business produces. Such predictability is often lacking. Shippers make promises to businesses and consumers and will need to keep them. Logistics providers, in turn, are judged on performance and will need to provide information. Integration with other partners in the supply chain can increase understanding of consumption data. Additionally, freight consolidation may result in the use of fewer trucks and/or fewer trips.

As a shipper, with a modern TMS in the background, you can investigate a carrier and look at what elements have been included to reach a given sustainability calculation. More understanding based on accurate data thus also leads to better conversations. The friction between shippers on the one hand and logistics service providers on the other will diminish and forecasts will be easier to meet.

Ultimately, a lot of sustainability starts with digitizing information, collecting data, and making effective decisions based on it. Digitization opens the door to more insights and opportunities for sustainability. If not by using electric vehicles, then by smart consolidation. The reports that a TMS can provide form the basis for future sustainability initiatives. Want to read more about how a TMS can help you get a firmer grip on your supply chain? Download the white paper ‘4 steps to success with a TMS’.

This blog was written by Eric Geerts, Director Product Management TMS, carrier connectivity and ports at Descartes


2023 Global Transportation Management Benchmark Report

Descartes conducts annual benchmark research among global transportation professionals. The 2023 study reveals that higher (fuel) costs and a shortage of drivers pose challenges, while investments in visibility present opportunities.

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