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How Intelligent Routing Can Empower Global Enterprises Battle CO2 Emissions

Growing levels of carbon emissions are posing a serious threat to the wellbeing of nature. Forests-fires, flash floods, and landslides are becoming more frequent than ever. Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Years of dedicated research on climate change and global warming have led us to the conclusion that human activities, especially those emitting large volumes of carbon directly in the atmosphere, contribute significantly to the Earth’s degrading environment. Unfortunately, the transportation sector has been a major reason behind this.

In the UK, greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon emissions, or CO2, peaked in 2007 before levels of road traffic tumbled during the financial crisis. But road emissions have steadily risen again since 2013 to more than 118m tonnes in 2017, more than a fifth of the UK’s total emissions.

In Germany, while there is some good news with regards to the decrease in CO2 emissions, concerns regarding emissions triggered by the transportation industry still loom. Between 1990 and 2018, most major German sources of emissions achieved reductions, according to the sector break-down in the Climate Action Plan 2050. In the energy sector, which is responsible for the largest share of Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions (around 40 percent), emissions fell by around 33 percent between 1990 and 2018 (see table below). Even bigger reductions were achieved by buildings (44 percent), while industry emissions fell 31 percent and agriculture emissions 22 percent. In contrast, emissions in the transport sector only fell by 0.6 percent. In Italy, as much as 26% of the country’s total carbon emissions is because of the transportation sector.

On a global scale, CO2 emissions from freight movement can rise to a staggering 8132 million tonnes by 2050 if it goes unchecked. While it’s easy to blame the transportation industry for being a major contributor to rising CO2 levels, one must not forget that there are multiple factors that are increasing the intensity of transportation-related activities. The rapid increase in demand for online and home deliveries can be cited as one of them.

According to the World Economic Forum demand for urban last-mile delivery is expected to grow 78% by 2030, leading to 36% more delivery vehicles in 100 cities around the world. This demand will cause related emissions to rise by nearly one-third and add 11 minutes to each passenger’s commute.

“Rising congestion and emissions from e-commerce delivery are already putting stress on city traffic patterns and this pressure will only rise from growing demand unless effective intervention is quickly taken by both cities and companies,” says Christoph Wolff, Head of Mobility, World Economic Forum.

Reducing your organization’s carbon footprint will not only help nature to reclaim what is lost but also ensure a positive impact on your TCO (total cost of ownership). Governments across the world are introducing hefty fines for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Reducing carbon emissions will help your business stay compliant and save thousands of dollars. Lesser carbon emissions mean lesser fuel consumption, reduction in average on-road time of delivery fleet, lesser vehicle wear-tear, and hence low maintenance costs. Basically, in the process of reducing carbon footprint, enterprises can generate a string of efficiencies that ensure higher profitability.

The demand for home deliveries will keep rising and hence we can assume that the number of vehicles executing deliveries will only increase. The question is how can enterprises reduce their carbon footprint while scaling last-mile delivery operations? Seems like a paradox right? But this twin objective can be achieved. How? By ensuring highly efficient routing. 

Leveraging Real-Time and Dynamic Routing To Reduce Carbon Footprint 

A dynamic routing platform can empower enterprises to shrink their carbon footprint by automating route planning, eliminating vehicle idling, reducing empty miles, and do much more.

Automating Route Planning

Route planning becomes a complex task when done without adequate automation. Traditional means of planning routes are prone to making errors that result in prolonged journeys. A dynamic routing platform automatically generates highly efficient routes by considering factors that directly impact carbon emissions like, the distance needed to travel, fuel consumption, route productivity, and one-way windows.

Reducing Empty Miles

According to research, every year American trucks travel empty for 50 billion miles, 28% of their total mileage, and in Europe a quarter of containers on the road are empty. Empty runs not only have high economic costs due to unused labor resources and almost zero vehicle productivity but it also causes unnecessary fuel consumption resulting in an increased carbon footprint. The UK transport industry could save over 40 million miles of empty journeys by optimizing vehicle capacity.

A dynamic routing platform reduces empty miles traveled by intelligently allocating delivery tasks to vehicles on their journey back to a base. This significantly eliminates the need to create new delivery tasks and reduces the chances of delivery fleets returning empty.

Reducing Vehicle Idling Time

According to a Sustainable America report, the average American driver spends more than 16 minutes a day idling their vehicle. In the US, idling burns through 3.8 million gallons of gas every single day, resulting in a daily waste of $7,980,000. Hence, vehicle idling hurts both your bottom line and the environment.

With advanced GPS and IoT capabilities, a dynamic routing platform sends real-time alerts to delivery stakeholders in case a driver leaves the engine running when idle for more than a stipulated period of time. These alerts can be quickly escalated to senior stakeholders to ensure a faster resolution. With real-time tracking capabilities, such a platform can immediately inform stakeholders in case a vehicle indulges in unnecessary diversions, that otherwise could increase the distance traveled and hence carbon emissions.

These efficiencies, when clubbed together, can empower enterprises to reduce their carbon emissions by thousands of tonnes over a period of twelve months. As transportation activities intensify owing to rising volumes of home deliveries, hitting the brakes on carbon emissions will become imminent. FarEye’s dynamic routing platform has been helping global brands reduce their carbon footprint and create a sustainable environment for generations to come. If you want to join the race against rising carbon emissions, sign-up for a quick demo here.