A survey carried out by logistics telecommunication company Neos Networks has found that 94% of transport and logistics (T&L) companies plan to adopt one or more solutions to reduce their carbon emissions by 2027.
The 2022 Green Technology in Freight survey asked 34 of the UK’s logistics companies for their insight on changes made since the UK government’s Decarbonising Transport plan was announced last year, what barriers they experience in meeting green targets and what the future holds for the industry.
More than two-thirds (68%) of companies surveyed said they have taken steps toward green technology since the government’s decarbonization report was published and more than half (55%) will take measures to decarbonize their fleets by 2024.
The industry remained divided as to whether the UK government’s target of net-zero emissions in transport by 2050 can be achieved. Half (55%) of respondents were positive about meeting targets, though 45% of operators are still to be convinced. The greatest barrier to net-zero targets for three in five T&L operators (61%) is high investment costs, followed by a lack of industry tech knowledge and concern that some shippers favor lower costs over greener practices. In fact, 35% of operators stated that low costs being prioritized over sustainability is a significant obstacle to decarbonization.
Over half (55%) of UK T&L firms said that greenhouse gas and carbon data tracking is a key focus of their decarbonization plans in the immediate future. A further 45% plan to seek greater efficiency in this area through investing in smart tech, data learning, AI or other technologies. However, although 52% of operators state they collect and report on primary (real-time) data of greenhouse gas and/or carbon emissions, just 71% of these companies feel they use the data to make meaningful changes to their operations.
Joanne Green, sales director for the public sector and transport at Neos Networks, said, “We regularly talk to leaders in the transport sector, and hear about the challenges they face when it comes to decarbonization. Smart tech, AI and real-time data are already being introduced by many to enable them to become more efficient. These can be important first steps on the road to achieving net zero. The government has also recognized this, identifying greater use of AI and data tools as key to cutting freight emissions, particularly for smaller operators. And yet, for any of these technologies to be truly beneficial, the sector must ensure they have the right infrastructure and support in place to enable them. Across all kinds of industries, we’ve seen that digital transformation is more successful when connectivity requirements are properly understood and budgeted for. Integrating smart technology and AI systems into operations is no different – it needs sufficient investment and upfront planning, or it simply won’t work.”
Kerry Fawcett, digital director of B2B services comparison website iCompario, said, “Decarbonization is an obstacle for logistics and transport, but can also bring about major improvements – recognizing that solutions need to be implemented to avoid climate disaster through mismanagement of resources in one of the most pollutive industries. Exploring new technologies will be the key to change. There are ways to ‘go green’ in the industry by electrifying fleets, however, this comes at a substantial capital cost to the organization. A soft route into this will be through the use of technology and insights into the operating behavior of vehicles and drivers to better understand how this can be improved. Reducing idling hours, monitoring fuel usage and insights into driver behavior will give leaders granular detail to make environmentally aware decisions regarding the use of their carbon-emitting assets.”
To read Neos Networks’ findings in full, click here.