Convoy, FourKites tackle emissions with new strategies, insights

FourKites sustainabilty

Land O’Lakes sources food, it looks for farmers that share its same vision for

“Within the food system,
sustainability can take many forms – from farming methods that aim to reduce impact on the
environment, to reducing food waste, to reusing or recycling materials used
along the food chain,” the company declares on its website.

Land O’Lakes operates a division, Land O’Lakes Sustain, that is dedicated to helping farmers, agricultural retailers and
food companies develop sustainable practices throughout the food system.

So, it should come as no surprise
that the food giant also looks for ways to improve the sustainability of its
logistics system. To do that, Land O’Lakes, a longtime FourKites customer, is leveraging the technology provider’s new
Sustainability Dashboard.

“FourKites new Sustainability
Dashboard is an important new addition to our supply chain visibility toolkit,”
Dustin Braun, senior director of logistics at Land O’Lakes, said. “Implementing
sustainable practices is one of Land O’Lakes top priorities. By leveraging the
Sustainability Dashboard, we are able to assess and validate our sustainability
efforts on an ongoing basis. Combined with other FourKites visibility tools
such as Lane Connect and Network Visibility, we are gaining fantastic insight into our supply chain.”

FourKites announced the launch of
the dashboard along with a Sustainability Center of Excellence (SCoE) on Earth
Day to help highlight the importance of sustainability within the supply chain.

Convoy has also launched an Earth Day-themed calculator with its Carbon
Emissions Savings Counter.

FourKites emissions dashboard
FourKites new Sustainability Dashboard provides shippers with insights on the environmental impact of their shipments. (Photo: FourKites)

“The supply chain is a huge
contributor to environmental pollution, waste and inefficiency, but companies
now have an opportunity to change that,” Mathew Elenjickal, FourKites CEO, said
in a statement. “Our new Sustainability Dashboard – fueled by
real-time logistics data from the FourKites platform – is a
powerful solution that will help our network achieve their sustainability
objectives while simultaneously reducing operating costs and gaining additional
business efficiencies.”

According to the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, more than 50% of nitrogen oxide emissions, over 30% of
volatile organic compound emissions, and more than 20% of particulate matter
emissions come from freight transportation. Projections indicate that the
growth in air emissions from freight will exceed the growth in emissions from
all other transportation activities – including
passenger transportation – by 2025. McKinsey estimates that 90% of companies’ impacts on the environment come from
supply chains.

Susie Bodnar, director of
operations and client strategy for FourKites, told FreightWaves the efforts are
in line with the company’s philosophy of reducing waste, and actually came not
from the top down, but germinated from the employee level.

“We believe that anyone can be a
champion of business initiatives,” she said. “Our company by design and by
guiding principle believes in eliminating waste.”

Lane Connect, which matches
backhaul opportunities for customers, is an example of this. Land O’Lakes was a
pilot customer for Lane Connect. The system paired the shipper with a
wholesaler on an Ohio to Tennessee lane, Bodnar explained, that resulted in a
transportation cost reduction of between 20% and 25% for Land O’Lakes and a
reduction of 1,000 empty miles per week for the wholesaler.

FourKites’ Sustainability Dashboard
and SCoE are the newest tools in the effort to help companies identify areas
where they can lessen their environmental footprint. The dashboard provides
users with insight into their estimated greenhouse gas emissions from freight
activity; emissions by mode (rail, ocean, truck) on both an aggregate level and
a per-shipment level; how emission levels and patterns are changing over time;
and which lanes have the highest and lowest emissions.

Bodnar said that the dashboard
provides everything from a 50,000-foot view all the way down to lane-level views.

“You look at a high level view at
how much emissions you generate over time, or by mode, but really the moment of
truth is at the… lane level where you can take action,” she said.

The SCoE will offer an ongoing
series of webinars, best practices content and collaboration opportunities for
the community, as well as opportunities for members to beta test and
collaborate on future products, FourKites said. More than 20 individuals and companies
have already signed up to participate, including Alexis Bateman, director at
the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics; Michael Torrance, chief
sustainability officer at BMO Financial Group; Braun from Land O’Lakes; Philipp
Kolb, international supply chain sustainability, at Henkel; Meghan Stasz, vice
president, packaging & sustainability at the Consumer Brands Association;
and Rob Haddock, group director of planning & logistics at The Coca-Cola

The goal, Bodnar noted, is to bring
together leading experts and thought leaders to discuss ways to increase
efficiency and sustainability.

“It’s a braintrust that will
support this sustainability initiative going forward,” Bodnar said. “They will
share ideas… and give us advice [on product development]. What we announced
today is not an end game, it’s a beginning.”

More information on the SCoE is
available at this blog post

Convoy tallies emissions savings

In an April 22 blog posting, Convoy
announced the launch of its Carbon Emissions Savings Counter. Launched one year
to the date following the launch of Automated Reloads, the savings counter measures the cumulative pounds of carbon
emissions saved by fleets that use Automated Reloads.

Automated Reloads books allows drivers to book multiple loads or shipments at once to create a single trip, reducing empty miles. The system algorithmically evaluates and continuously optimizes how loads can be grouped in real time. Drivers can then bid on the pre-planned combinations as a single job.

“To date, we have enabled over
1,700,208 pounds of carbon emissions from being emitted, which is equivalent to
eliminating 87,621 gallons of gasoline consumed,” Convoy said in the blog posting.

Convoy cited a survey that found
20% of consumers said they only buy sustainable products. As a result, shippers
are increasingly prioritizing the reduction of carbon emissions.

When Convoy sends monthly reports
to its shipping partners, those reports include a section on sustainability.

“Data-backed insights, paired with
a business’ institutional knowledge, are what affect meaningful efficiency
gains across the shipment lifecycle,” Convoy said. “Transportation leaders use
these reports to make responsible shipping decisions that further reduce their
emissions across their entire network.”