Part 3: Dirty Jobs/Clean Business: How R&D is Shaping the Logistics and Fuel Industries

birds eye view of transport truck fleet | Innovators Central

Economic and environmental regulations and a new focus on sustainability are forcing logistics companies to change their traditional operating models. They’ve had to develop new strategies to optimize performance and adopt new technology to manage their carbon footprint.

Logistics companies currently contribute up to 24% of global emissions and may reach 40% by 2050 if the proper action isn’t taken.

How Logistics Strategies are Changing

The Move to EVs

One primary driver of change is the move to electric vehicles. Battery technology continues to improve, and companies are investing in electric vehicles to bolster their fleet. However, adopting electric vehicles will require significant investment in charging infrastructure globally.

Load Optimization Software

Load optimization software is also gaining ground as a "must-have" tool. This software uses algorithms to determine the most efficient way to load and transport goods and considers weight, size, and destination variables. By planning routes that use the least energy, this technology helps companies reduce the number of vehicles in use, reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

GPS and Fleet Monitoring Software

New technologies are emerging to help companies track their vehicles' fuel consumption, maintenance needs, and performance. Collected data is analyzed to optimize fleet operations and reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

By utilizing real-time data to track fuel consumption and other important metrics, managers can easily detect maintenance problems and provide training to enhance driver behavior, further reducing environmental impact.

IoT Takes to the Road

Internet of Things (IoT) technology also significantly influences the logistics industry. Managers can optimize logistics operations using advanced data collection devices like sensors, beacons, and RFID tags to track goods, vehicles, and equipment in real time.

This technology also leads to reduced waste and greater efficiency. Sensors already play a prominent role in monitoring the temperature and humidity of products during transport to ensure that they’re kept at optimal conditions. Beacons and other devices can track vehicles and equipment, allowing companies to monitor their location and status in real time and dynamically manage route changes.

The Growing Impact of Fossil Fuel Reduction

Fuel shortages, price volatility, and environmental concerns drive the need for more efficient and sustainable fuels. Alternative fuels like hydrogen offer lower emissions and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. But the infrastructure required to support these fuels is still in development, and, like EV charging, will require significant investment to make them a viable option.

IoT technology will also play a more prominent role in fueling logistics fleets. Sensors can monitor fuel levels to ensure fleets are operating at optimal efficiency.

Driving Sustainability in Your Organization

The move toward sustainability is impacting every industry, but it can be daunting for new businesses requiring field service or fleet transportation to operate their businesses.

The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College can help. Our entrepreneurship, business innovation, mentoring, and R&D programs cover comprehensive training for new entrepreneurs. We can empower you with the skills and knowledge you need to merge technology and sustainability in your business.

To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.

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