Ecological solutions in the transport of goods
Over a quarter of greenhouse gases emitted by European Union countries comes from transport. By increasing the greenhouse effect and air pollution, this sector constitutes the main source of negative impacts on the environment.
It mainly concerns road transport, which, due to fuel combustion, emits substances harmful to the planet. Over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector concern road transport.
Standards introduced by the European Union as a response to increasing greenhouse gas emissions from transport
According to the European Environmental Agency, in recent years greenhouse gas emissions have decreased in all the sectors of economy, except for transport. It is caused by the growing number of vehicles and increased mobility of Europeans. The European Union has set a goal of a 60% reduction of emission in transport by 2050 compared to 1990. It is quite an optimistic vision which is to be developed by the standards and regulations introduced by the EU. Sustainable transport policy adopted by the European Union focuses on actions such as promotion of alternative sources of energy, tightening of the emission standards as well as promotion of the means of transport using less fuel than cars or trucks. Restrictions apply not only to cars but also trucks which are responsible for 38% of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.
Responsibility for the planet is an important matter to many industries. The transport sector is also searching for and choosing solutions which may limit the negative impact of transport on the condition of our planet. Most of the available solutions bring benefits not only to the environment, but also to the companies which will be able to generate greater savings.
Transport optimisation, ecodriving
Optimal planning allows for decreasing the number of transports, which, in turn, leads to a reduction in CO2 emissions. Transport optimisation can be supported by TMSs (Transport Management Systems), which analyse the course of transport and help in planning routes or monitoring orders. It is important to plan routes by choosing the shortest possible ones or avoid rush hours and traffic jams. Reduction of empty runs and a more optimal use of cargo space are a crucial aspect of loading. Goodloading application will indicate the smallest space which will accommodate a given load and arrange it by using the maximum space of the semi-trailer.
Ecodriving is becoming a popular alternative, in which companies see benefits not only for the environment, but also their pockets. The driver who can travel following this principle consumes less fuel, which results in less carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere. This is why a large number of telematics devices include a game-rivalry part where drivers can see each other’s fuel consumption rankings and the winner gets the highest bonus.
If possible, maritime transport is a better alternative to road transport. It is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport, which produces only 13% of CO2 emissions from the transport sector.
Alternative fuels and ecological packaging of the future
The most popular ecological solutions use alternative fuels, i.e. electrical energy, hydrogen, biofuels, synthetic and paraffinic fuels, natural gas (CNG and LNG) and LPG. It is estimated that electricity is a fuel of the future because the sale of electric cars is growing every year. Companies such as MAN or Scania are introducing hybrid trucks. Biofuels, e.g. those made from coffee grounds, used in London buses, constitute another possible alternative to standard fuels.
Ecological solutions may concern not only transport itself, but also packaging. They include, for instance, pallets made of coconut shells, which so far have been treated as waste. On the other hand, cardboard packages are more accessible, they decompose quickly and can be reused if well-made. Paper and newspapers are more and more often used to fill the space in boxes, instead of bubble wrap or air-filled plastic bags.