Tag Archives: sustainability

Convoy survey: Trucking divided on sustainability, climate change

Small and mid-size trucking operators have mixed views on sustainability, especially on the viability of electric vehicles (EVs). There seems to be some split between younger operators and older ones, with the younger ones much more attuned to an acceptance of sustainable requirements.

Convoy, the surveying organization, operates a load matching service, which helps truckers reduce deadhead or empty runs, and therefore makes a contribution to sustainable operation. , as well as earning more for truckers.

It’s no surprise that the initial cost of new EVs is a serious problem for these smaller truckers. Even with lower maintenance and operating costs, the shortage of charging stations and repair facilities means buying a new EV truck is not an option most of these folks are considering.

However, they are concerned about operational cost savings, and the factors preventing EV use should decline in significance as more of them hit the road. When petroleum fuels are so high-priced, the electric alternative looks more practical.

It will be a few years before the number of charging stations will be large enough for many truckers. However, fleets with shorter day-long routes, roughly 250-300 miles or less, which return to a base station, are natural candidates for EV trucks. If manufacturing can get going, we will see these operations choosing new EVs, since the y can control the needed infrastructure.

It will take longer to satisfy the owner-operator crowd that there are enough charging stations. I have not seen a significant study of the density of charging stations or their placement to support general truck movements, say based on the Convoy to-from waybills. Knowing where charging is needed would go a long way toward defining how to proceed.

Alyssa Sporrer Thursday, September 2, 2021

Convoy survey: Trucking divided on sustainability, climate change – FreightWaves

CPO at Bayer encourages Procurement Managers to Fight Hard for Sustainability

Lots of times we get in situations where management doesn’t ‘get it’. It’s particularly true of sustainability issues in purchasing and supply management.

In my business career, as an IT executive, I found myself in such positions quite a few times. As the CPO here says, maybe it’s time to move on if the opposition is so hard-nosed.

Supply Chain News: CPO at Bayer encourages Procurement Managers to Fight Hard for Sustainability

Supply Chain News: CPO at Bayer encourages Procurement Managers to Fight Hard for Sustainability

‘Exceptional growth’ in container fleet could result in 13m teu excess

The excess estimated in this article is mostly in dry containers. Reefers are still much in demand. The problem is, what’s going to happen to them? Resales are down, and there aren’t enough container houses being built to use them up.

It’s time to think about scrapping them, just like ships. If the Chinese factories can continue to produce them at low cost so that it doesn’t pay to ship them back, we have to get rid of them somehow.

In freight transport, backhauls are always a problem. They are basically unpaid miles and tons. Their cost must be recovered in the head haul freight cost. It’s like the packaging when you buy something online. We either have to find something to do with it, or throw it away, or take up valuable space storing it for reuse. Here’s an entire shelf in my coat closet, stuffed with packaging.

We have worked out various systems for recycling packaging. In the US most locations have some recycling capability, and customers are urged to separate trash. The usual destination is a recycling facility, or perhaps a landfill. The landfill is very undesirable, because of contamination leakage from the dumps, which can be hard to control. Landfill space is also at a premium in the US in most places. Who wants a landfill next door?

Over time, however, the rules have changed. It used to be we could export our trash waste to other countries. China took a large amount of paper waste in the past. They did not have clean sources of paper waste for papermaking in China. But in the last few years they have refused to take the waste, since they created domestic sources.

Similarly, plastic waste used to be exported. It’s a usable feedstock for certain plastic manufacture, and has a few other uses. But more recently countries have recognized the problem and are refusing to take it.

Containers fall into the same category. They are packaging. They are recyclable, though it takes some work. The steel scrap has a value in future steelmaking, but it isn’t large. And they cube up the world, taking up both area space and height when stored in yards. In California during the recent congestion crisis at the ports, additional empty container yards were created at considerable expense off the port properties, to provide storage space off the port terminal yard where empties were clogging up the movement lanes.

We’re going to be faced with an increasing problem as long as the US is an importing nation.

There have been various schemes for modifying containers floated. Foldable containers would be quite a bit less costly to ship back, and take up less space at the cost of some labor to fold them and then unfold them. One design I saw allowed five forty-foot containers to fit in the space of one forty-foot unit for storage and shipping. But they are a lot more expensive than standard units, and reefers would be hard to handle this way.

As long as current export-import patterns continue, it would be worthwhile for entrepreneurs to spend time on the empty container problem. Other industries have improved the recyclable aspects of their packaging, and ocean carriers and shippers should start addressing the issue.

By Sam Whelan 25/05/2022

‘Exceptional growth’ in container fleet could result in 13m teu excess – The Loadstar