How Real-Time Transportation Visibility Helps Reduce Freight Carbon Emissions

February 27, 2023

April 29, 2024


x min read

The transportation industry provides life-sustaining food and products for billions of people around the globe. But moving all those goods comes with an environmental cost. The transportation sector is the worst in the United States for carbon dioxide emissions, supplying 40% of the total, according to a report. But that same report notes there was a 6% decline in transportation-related greenhouse gases in 2021 compared to 2005—and that reduction is expected to continue in the future. With no more time to waste, it is pivotal for the industry to continue to lower its carbon footprint, promote sustainability, and drive overall environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) best practices. 

Many transportation companies use real-time visibility to discover more environmentally friendly and efficient methods of conducting business. This article explains the challenges in reducing freight emissions, shares possible solutions, and discusses how temperature tracking and real-time transportation visibility help cut down on food waste and energy usage—thereby lowering the industry's carbon footprint and promoting sustainability/ESG.

Why the Logistics Industry is Focused on Reducing Carbon Emissions

Customers want more than innovation and reasonable prices: they also want companies to demonstrate social responsibility and prove they are trying to protect the health of the planet. Toward that end, many logistics companies are implementing solutions to combat climate change by reducing freight emissions. Of the 250 most prominent global logistics companies, 96% now produce a sustainability report to show stakeholders, customers, and investors the company’s ESG program framework, its goals, and the methods used to accomplish them. These companies realize real-time visibility helps the entire supply chain find the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—leading to a healthier, more sustainable future.

The Challenges of Poor Visibility with Sustainability

Unfortunately, some companies have not been as quick in trying to cut back on freight emissions. They could be lagging for various reasons, including not knowing how to get started or needing the proper way to introduce adequate tracking and software to ensure visibility and cut waste along the supply chain, a key point of promoting sustainability. A lack of visibility results in some companies struggling to understand where problem areas are, and the inefficiency often leads to a lack of accountability.

How Real-Time Visibility Reduces Carbon Emissions

Digital solutions, such as Tive Solo 5G trackers, help reduce emissions by introducing real-time visibility. This enables shippers to monitor shipments and track the cold chain custody—and prevent food from being damaged or spoiled. This helps reduce the fuel and energy required to ship (or replace and re-ship) products and lowers freight emissions. Analyzing shipment data also helps companies identify the best areas to implement improvements to encourage environmental, social, and economic responsibility. Following are several ways to accomplish these goals:

  • Minimize empty miles: Trucks are driven empty a staggering 40% of the time. All those deadhead miles are a waste of fuel and energy, providing no value and instead burning more fuel and releasing more greenhouse gases. Technology enables trucks to have more productive round trips by helping them locate nearby loads for the return trip—to prevent wasted empty miles. 
  • Reduce dwell time: Software and real-time data enable drivers to better plan pickups and deliveries, so time and energy aren't wasted waiting to load or unload. Refrigerated trucks often end up in detention, and real-time analysis can help prevent keeping perishables in the cold chain for extended times. Visibility also helps drivers know which routes and nearby carriers to choose to avoid long waits.
  • Achieve traceability: Tracking end-to-end visibility also provides greater insight into the entire supply chain. Traceability enables all parties to track shipments—and stay engaged throughout the process to detect potential problems in real time. Using digital traceability tools, companies can identify more sustainable practices to track and reduce wasted fuel, save energy, and decrease emissions.
  • Minimize perishable waste: Between 30%-40% of all food in the U.S. is wasted during production and distribution—up to 40% of that total results from challenges faced upstream in the supply chain, including the transportation process. Wasted food ends up in a landfill, where it emits even more greenhouse gases. A visibility solution such as Tive helps avoid shipping delays and provides assurance that perishable items aren’t exposed to extreme temperatures for too long. Real-time visibility into cold chain shipments helps assure stakeholders and customers that cold chain custody isn't broken—and that money and energy aren't wasted on spoiled perishable foods, where mistakes can run over $100,000.
  • Improve visibility: In a recent survey, 70% of respondents said they would look elsewhere if a company wasn't operating sustainably. Shippers should strive to partner with carriers who actively work to protect the environment and who invest in ESG initiatives. Visibility enables companies to search for partners who provide robust OTIF rates, and who realize how much these delays can harm the environment.
  • Gain additional benefits: Other ways in which real-time supply chain visibility helps balance supply chain efficiency include estimating emissions from freight activity, monitoring emission-level changes over time, determining which lanes and modes have the highest and lowest emissions, and identifying which methods of transportation contribute the most and least to emissions.

Tive Provides Transportation Visibility that is Helping the Planet

The world is reaching a crisis point in combating climate change, and all companies need to do their best to be part of the solution. Logistics companies have made tremendous strides in recent years, but much work remains to be done. Real-time shipping visibility solutions—such as those offered by Tive—cut down on freight emissions by eliminating wasted trips and promoting sustainability. Visit Tive to see how they can make your business run more efficiently while embracing ESG principles that could very well help save the planet.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

  • uno
  • dos
  • tres

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

Tive logo

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.