Road cargo transportation is growing (and will grow much more according to predictions), especially in regard to its contribution to climate change. There is today a vast number of alternatives to consider for a lower CO2e emission level. From alternative transportation modals, if in an area with good infrastructure, to alternative fuels, even for big cargo vehicles, passing by driverless trucks, in the case of businesses willing to be first users of technological innovations, one can find hundreds of routes for the deployment of a logistics strategy.
Still, the challenges for a massive use of such alternatives, maintaining the level of service and convenience customer and consumers are now used to, are as well overwhelming. On the other side, cities are more and more focused in reducing emissions and traffic within its limits, and countries are incentivising industries and retail to commit with emission reductions goals. Sounds like a dead end? It is not, it can actually be lots of fun, and indeed a lot of work is needed.
Any changes in this situation will take long time, there is no detour, even if you have lots of money to invest, which I bet is not your case. There are enough technological solutions available, but the transition to them is far more complex than one could suppose. And if your company changes, your supply chain needs to be ready to absorb your change, otherwise it also does not work.
I have helped strategically various teams from different networks to address those issues, achieving CO2e emissions reductions in relative and in absolute terms, and the path is usually very similar. A variety of solutions for different routes, channels and customers. The diversity of solutions for a relevant result includes collaboration with customers, similar industries, truck manufactures and even with competitors. It includes bringing your planning team closer to sales and logistics and making use of data as never before. Your IT guy is now part of your logistics team! It means making efficient loads, that can satisfy complex demands from customers or evolving your communication with them, usually both. It includes, having the ability to learn about fuels and chemistry to not make wrong choices which you would regret deeply later. And on top of that, it requires a new set of process and work just to measure it all. At AdvantiKA, I propose a framework to deal with those challenges that comprehends 4 pillars:
Cost: analyses of cost and benefits aligned with the specific business model of the customer today and in the future. We think about cost within a business case of value generated by logistics, no simply looking to the amount of money spent by kilometre or ton sold.
Climate Change: assessment of current condition vs. ideal conditions for emissions of gases, measured as CO2e. The assessment and a vision of future allow us to work on realistic yet challenging and exciting steps with our customer
Traffic & other External Effect: consideration, analysis and discussion with each communities or towns in scope about complete logistics solutions that can help local startups and businesses, reduce number of vehicles in the cities or change their type. Less noise, less traffic and more local income are some of the focus points of this pillar.
Social: with focus mainly, but not limited, on truck drivers and their families, we reflect on how to work for better quality of life of the professionals in a way that benefits the company. This pillar is relevant also to transition different roles that may be defined considering technological changes.
While working at Unilever, I had the chance to explore many of these alternatives and help to achieve the top level among the supply chains of the world. My mission now, with AdvantiKA, is to bring other companies to top performance, respecting environment and people. Our work together with the Natural Step - Schweiz brings quality of future fit to a sustainable new economy. Our motto is to be accessible to all sizes of companies, connecting high level professionals as partners.