Sustainable transport and logistics: a roadmap

Tue | 7 Sep 2021 | News

Sustainable transport and logistics: a roadmap

Sustainability is becoming more and more commonplace, also in the world of transport and logistics. Companies are increasingly held responsible for the environmental and social impact of their supply chain processes. How can the transport and logistics sector meet these increasingly clear demands and achieve sustainable transport? A step-by-step plan…

Reducing transport costs was for many years, and still is, an important aspect of transport and logistics. Today, another important issue has emerged: sustainability. After all, sustainable processes promote efficiency, reduce operational costs and are an important factor in increasing profits.

What is sustainable logistics?

The definition of sustainable includes 'produced or acquired in a manner that has the least possible impact on the environment and nature'. In short: relatively environmentally friendly or resource-saving.

The term 'sustainable logistics' implies that goods are transported to their final destination as quickly and sustainably as possible. In practice, this often proves to be difficult, for example, given the number of trucks that are still not fully loaded or electric.

As you have already read in the blog article 'Electric and sustainable transport: the state of affairs', Simacan is closely involved in all developments in the field of electrification and sustainable transport. After all, we must take serious account of current and future measures that (will) apply to transport and logistics: zero-emission trucks in the inner cities by 2025, driving on sustainable biofuels in the outlying areas and more efficiency in the logistics chain, so that trucks make fewer kilometres.

Sustainable supply chain

Negative environmental and social impacts of supply chains include:

  • Inefficient use of resources;
  • Loss of biodiversity;
  • Risks to health and safety of workers;
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases;
  • Health and environmental damage caused by the use of harmful or hazardous substances.

In order to achieve a sustainable supply chain and thus avoid these hazards and act accordingly, many transport companies will have to adapt their business strategy. An important part of this strategy will have to be sustainable supply chain management. There are seven steps to follow to achieve this:

Roadmap towards sustainable transport
Process steps of sustainable supply chain management (Source: step-by-step guide to
sustainable supply chain management, German Federal Ministry for the Environment
(BMU) and Environment Agency (UBA), 2017)

  1. Supply chain mapping to get an overview of the value creation process;
  2. Identifying significant environmental and social impacts, assessing risks and prioritising areas for action;
  3. Identifying gaps and developing measures to improve performance;
  4. Adapt internal structures and processes;
  5. Formulating (binding) sustainability requirements for suppliers. An important part of this step is the drafting of a supplier code of conduct, which can be included in a supplier contract;
  6. Evaluating the sustainability performance of suppliers by checking self-assessments or subjecting them to an audit;
  7. Publishing information (reporting) on the activities in the field of sustainable supply chain management.

Following these steps towards a sustainable supply chain can not only improve the company's environmental and social performance, but also provide business benefits, such as:

  • A better public image;
  • Reduced risk of legal non-compliance;
  • Acquisition of new environmentally conscious customers;
  • Improved productivity.
Simacan and sustainable transport

Digitising can help overcome challenges such as effectively aligning capacity, reducing the carbon footprint and minimising necessary investment in new technology.

Simacan enables fast and secure digital cooperation with - and between - transport companies and shippers in order to overcome industry-wide challenges such as CO2 reduction, traffic congestion and urban distribution. In addition, Simacan clearly records and presents the transport performance from departure to arrival. This enables shippers and carriers to look for continuous and fact-based improvement and optimisation within the mutual cooperation.

Further information sustainable transport

Would you like to know more about sustainable transport for your company in cooperation with Simacan? Please contact us for further information or a no-obligation appointment to discuss the possibilities of the Simacan Platform.

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