How to reduce emissions from road transport

I Annual Shippers' Conference

23 Apr 2024

Reducing emissions from road transport is the sector’s greatest challenge, as road is the mode with the largest market share (95.8% according to data from the Ministry of Transport in 2021) and the one that receives the most accusations of polluting.

According to the Ministry of Ecological Transition, the transport sector accounts for 25% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Spain and almost 40% of emissions from diffuse sectors. By mode of transport, roads account for almost 95% of emissions.

The fight against climate change in Europe can be summed up as the desire to achieve the climate neutrality of the economy by 2050 and the intermediate target of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.

For these goals, the decarbonization of transport, one of the most polluting activities, is essential.

With these data on the table, the objective is to find a formula to reduce the C02 emissions derived from this activity and achieve sustainable transport while maintaining its activity and profitability.

Isabel Muñoz_Shippers Conference
Nuria Lacaci, Secretary General of ACE, and Jordi Espín, Secretary General of Transprime, together with Isabel Muñoz, MEP, during the 1st Shippers’ Conference.

At the 1st Annual Shippers’ Conference, promoted by ACE and Transprime, the main challenges were analyzed and various solutions were proposed to achieve this goal. In general terms, the main solutions proposed focus on:

  • Use of more efficient vehicles, such as hybrids or electric vehicles.
  • Use of larger vehicles, with increased masses and dimensions.
  • Digitization, in terms of route and cargo optimization and documentation.
  • Promoting intermodality in favor of railroads.
  • Use of biofuels.
  • Establish eco-efficient driving.
  • Promote freight infrastructures.

As the different panelists at this meeting explained, the main problem with these solutions is that in practice they are not effective due to the lack of recharging infrastructures, the high economic cost or the non-existence of the technologies. Railroads, on the other hand, have a very low market share in Spain and Europe and existing services are congested.

It is therefore important to focus on boosting road efficiency and, above all, to focus on the digitization of the sector.

New social dimension of transportation_Shippers' Conference
Panel discussion “New social dimension of transport” with Carmelo González, president of the CNTC; Fernando Carreras, CEO of Carreras Grupo Logístico; Carlos Castán, director of Corporate Logistics of the CELSA Group; and Alfonso Alday, director of Transporte XXI.

Digitalization to reduce road transport emissions

Beyond incorporating into fleets vehicles with alternative fuels to synthetic fuels (diesel, gasoline), the reduction of emissions in transportation is closely linked to the optimization of available resources.

In this sense, technology plays a very important role, since it allows in a simple way, and without such large investments as an electric vehicle can be, to optimize each of the elements involved in a transport operation.

Starting with document management and continuing with route and fleet management, digitization is the perfect ally to achieve sustainable transport.

A technological solution focused on transport and logistics enables:

  • Route optimization: Reducing kilometers in a transportation process derives in a reduction of considerable greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, having a technological solution that allows you to optimize routes is essential within a sustainable transportation strategy.
  • Fleet management: Optimizing fleet management with a technological tool is another way to achieve sustainable transport. Preventive maintenance, fuel cost control and vehicle geolocation are solutions that help optimize resources.
  • Elimination of empty loads: With fleet management and route planning software, deliveries and pickups are optimized to reduce empty distances. In addition, implementing fleet tracking and management systems based on technology such as GPS provides real-time visibility of vehicle location and status, facilitating efficient planning and coordination.
Decarbonization of the supply chain_Shippers' Conference
Round table discussion “The decarbonization of the supply chain”, with Ramón Valdivia, executive vice-president of ASTIC; Andrea Romani, commercial director of Alfil Logistics; Gloria Martí de la Llave, head of Environment of the Freixenet Group; and Aitor Veco, director of El Mercantil.

Collaboration to reduce emissions from road transport

The importance of collaboration to achieve the goal of reducing emissions from road transport was highlighted at the 1st Annual Shippers’ Conference.

Thus, the voices of shippers united in a single message to drive the efficiency and social, economic and environmental sustainability of the sector: put freight at the center with the driver at the forefront.

Manifesto of the Freight Forwarders for Sustainable Freight Transportation

Shippers have signed a manifesto to promote sustainable practices that help reduce transport emissions and improve the efficiency of this key sector. The main points are:

  • Commitment to sustainability
  • Collaboration and dialogue
  • Innovation and technology
  • Supply chain efficiency
  • Transparency and measurement
  • Education and awareness
  • Social dimension of transportation
  • Prestige and image of transportation
  • Sustainability standards

Digital solution on the market to reduce transportation emissions

The FIELDEAS Track and Trace digital solution offers all the tools to optimize transport processes, such as route and fleet management, documentation digitization and carbon footprint calculation.

Thus, our Supply Chain Visibility platform allows, thanks to real-time information, to have complete visibility of the entire chain and to detect points of inefficiency, as well as sources of major pollution, such as transportation.

Carbon footprint calculation

FIELDEAS Track and Trace also allows the calculation of the carbon footprint associated with transport operations and logistics in general. With this module, our users will be able to comply with the regulations and meet the decarbonization objectives set by Europe and especially promoted by Spain with the future Sustainable Mobility Law.

Reducing transport emissions_FIELDEAS
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Barbara Rodriguez

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