Energy costs for medium-sized consumers are expected to rise by as much as 30% in the next five years.
As a result, energy efficiency in logistics is a pressing concern for many in the industry. And it’s not just a case of addressing the bottom line. Clients are also demanding evidence of efforts in the energy efficiency sector from their logistics management partners, just as their customers are demanding it from them.
“Going green” matters more to everyone with each passing year.
But how do logistics companies—road, rail, air, or ship—make the reductions in a notoriously energy-hungry sector? Read on for five potential solutions.
1. Investigate Green Upgrades in Warehouse Heating and Cooling
Logistics sustainability starts in the warehouse.
Ventilated or cooled storage uses an enormous amount of energy, which costs money. Thankfully, there are ways you can reduce this input.
First, reach out to your HVAC specialist to discuss alternative options like:
- Solar powered systems
- Ice-powered systems
- Heat pumps (geothermal systems)
- Hydronic systems
At the same time, ask them to assess the position of the vents to ensure they’re cooling where they need to—and only there.
You can also consider upgrading your insulation. Insulating your walls, floor, and ceiling can dramatically reduce energy usage.
2. Improve Truck Docking Operations
A straightforward way to improve environmental efficiency in trucking is at the dock.
By reducing dock loading and unloading times, you get trucks back on the road faster, meaning fewer trucks are making the trips. It also means less gas usage because eager-to-leave truck drivers aren’t idling their vehicles for so long.
Tips to improve efficiency at the dock include up-to-the-minute truck tracking, RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags for forklift operators, and pre-staging.
3. Explore Alternative Fuels
One area of sustainable transport management that’s gaining traction is alternative fuels.
In shipping, we could use several liquid fuels for ship propulsion in place of oil—though few have been heavily explored to date.
LNG (liquefied natural gas) is perhaps the strongest contender for large fleets. This is because natural gas, though still a fossil fuel, has lower sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions than oil. Plus, natural gas reserves are more sustainable than other fossil fuels.
Other options at the trial stage include methanol and synthetic diesel made from coal, biomass, or biogas.
In trucking, the increasing use of powertrains offers greater fuel efficiency using currently available fuel options. Other experimental options now being explored include biodiesel and renewable diesel, natural gas, electric, and hydrogen.
You Can’t Ignore Energy Efficiency in Logistics
There’s never been a better time to consider energy efficiency. Fossil prices are at record highs, and consumers and governments are demanding companies go green.
Perhaps you’re a shipping company looking for ways to improve energy efficiency via ship design. Maybe you’re a transport manager in the trucky sector tasked with exploring alternative fuels.
Whatever the case, there’s no denying considering energy efficiency in logistics is imperative if companies want to remain competitive in the 21st century. So explore your options today—before you get left behind.
For more business insights, read some other articles on our website.