Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!



New report presents a green look at NAFTA-related logistics operations

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
April 07, 2011

Lately when I think of NAFTA, I tend to think of the U.S.-Mexico cross-border trucking program and all of the starts and stops and related drama associated with it over the years. But a recently-released report from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) got me thinking about NAFTA in a different way.

It is a way, which goes beyond cross trucking and impacts us all, whether you are a shipper, carrier, or consumer; that way being the environment.

In its report, entitled “Destination Sustainability: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Freight Transportation in North America,” CEC examines NAFTA’s continental freight transportation network, which it said is the second largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America following electricity generation.

One of the report’s most telling findings is that by 2030 truck emissions are being projected to increase 20 percent. Given the current situation when it comes to GHG emissions, it likely stands to reason that projection could be much higher. But make no mistake it is pretty steep all the same.

And with higher GHG emissions, comes a reduced competitive advantage, according to CEC Executive Director Evan Lloyd, and it requires more than ongoing inroads being made on fuel economy and transportation technology.

To counter increased GHG emissions from trucks in the next 20 years or so, the CEC report offers various recommendations that could dint its future impact.

One recommendation is to roll out carbon pricing and system efficiency strategies in which the U.S., Canada, and Mexico should consider putting a price on carbon to provide a clear signal that investing in efficiency and low-carbon fuel alternatives are vital.

Another one was a call for the NAFTA partners to re-invest in transportation infrastructure, coupled with fuel-saving alternatives and adopting intelligent transportation systems.

Improving supply chain management processes also came up, too. CEC said that managing transportation systems more efficiently by working harder to fill loads on the back haul that commonly are “empty miles” and also leverage railroads when applicable.

These recommendations and others made in the CEC report show that being green and focusing on sustainability are more than just talk, or, as a friend often tells me, “cocktail chatter.”

Look no more than the White House’s recent call for its National Clean Fleets Partnership, which it said is designed to help large companies cut down on diesel and gasoline usage in their fleets by meshing electronic vehicles, alternative fuels, and fuel-savings measures into their daily operations.

While this effort looks promising, it is by no means a one size fits all solution, as all different companies have different needs obviously. But, again, when it comes to sustainable logistics and transportation practices, methods, and mandates, for that matter, there is a lot going on and a lot to be excited about.

Much of this is still “cocktail chatter” to a degree, but I am excited to see what happens as we belly up to the bar of green logistics.

What do you think? Newsroom Notes wants to know.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Intermodal units, at 278,767 containers and trailers were up 6.7 percent compared to the same week last year and marks the third best week for intermodal ever recorded based on AAR’s data.

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman recently conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bobby Harris, President and CEO of non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics about various aspects of the freight transportation market.

It’s small, but senior brass at YRC Worldwide will take it. After nearly seven years of continuing losses in excess of $2.6 billion, the parent of the nation’s second-largest LTL carrier posted a narrow net profit in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

As was the case for the second quarter, third quarter earnings results for publicly-traded less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are again strong. Signs of solid earnings results from carriers that have posted earnings to date include tonnage increases, gains in weight per shipment and average daily shipments, higher yield, and revenue per hundredweight.

While the holiday season is known to bring good tidings and cheer to all, it may also come with another thing that is not so pleasant: higher rate freights. That was the thesis of a commentary written by Mark Montague, industry pricing analyst and chief market-watcher for DAT, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of TransCore.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA