EDF looks at how creative supply chain strategies can cut both transport costs and emissions.
Global freight emissions are growing rapidly as a result of increased demands for goods and services. In the United States alone, emissions from freight are projected to increase 74% from 2005 to 2035.5 China is expected to increase its use of freight transportation fuels by more than 320% from 2008 to 2035. The surge in the movement of goods presents major challenges for efforts to avert climate destabilization and threatens widespread harm public health from tailpipe emissions.7 Growing volumes will also require further capital investment and increase demand for the world’s limited supply of fossil fuels. Thus, costs could continue to rise.
By following the examples of leading shippers, we can create a future where freight transport remains affordable, results in less carbon pollution and minimizes the threat to public health. Shippers—companies that utilize logistics services to move products but are not primarily in the
freight business—have the most to gain from an increasingly carbon- and cost-efficient freight system for three reasons:
- Profitability: Shippers can reap the greatest financial rewards from increasing the efficiency of their logistics operations
- Reputation management: Since these companies interface directly with consumers, they stand to gain the most from being viewed as good environmental stewards
- Market leverage: Shippers dictate business trends in the goods movement marketplace; if they demand greater efficiency and better environmental performance, carriers and other logistics service providers will respond