Transportation and sustainability: two sectors you would not expect to complement one another. But now more than ever, it’s important for businesses of all industries and sizes—particularly the transportation sector—to look beyond the bottom line and consider what sort of future we’re contributing to on a daily basis.
Given the latest reported numbers by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the role our industry plays in contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, it’s crucial to bring sustainability to the forefront of discussions. While “going green” isn’t something that will happen overnight, there are plenty of ways we can all improve our carbon footprint.
DRIVING A CLEANER INDUSTRY
Transportation—especially medium and-heavy-duty diesel trucks—account for the most greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, at 28 percent. Considering the number of empty trucks crisscrossing our highways daily—wasting empty miles, fuel, money and time—it’s not hard to see why our industry’s contribution is so high.
While it’s currently not feasible to fully eliminate trucking emissions, there are ways to help reduce this contribution. One of Coyote’s core business objectives is aimed at solving one of the oldest problems facing the logistics industry: carriers driving around with an empty trailer, or “deadheading.”
By helping to source dedicated freight opportunities or automatically reload carriers with revenue-generating backhaul, it’s possible to reduce empty miles thus improving fuel efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and alleviating traffic congestion.
In 2016, in an effort to help execute shippers’ consistent, high-volume and dedicated freight, we implemented a new department: Flex Solutions.
Flex consists of teams specialized in working with shippers and carriers to build custom solutions for things like private fleets, dedicated surge capacity, on-demand trailer leasing and drop trailer programs, UPS asset utilization, flexible inventory storage and more.
Flex Solutions allows us to have an even greater impact on supply chain efficiency and contribute to greater sustainable benefits by reducing waste.
Private and Dedicated Fleets
Private fleets make up more than half of the $726 billion truckload industry. Since 2010, our Private Fleet service has helped eliminate backhauls by turning customers into carriers, loading shippers’ underutilized private and dedicated fleet assets.
Our internally designed technology identifies backhaul matches between a shippers’ assets and Coyote’s freight network to eliminate empty miles, reduce emissions and turn deadhead into profit for both shippers and fleets.
By utilizing private and dedicated fleets, you are not only helping to ship more sustainably, but also offering other shippers in the Coyote network a source of consistent, reliable and cost-effective capacity.
Find out how a major brewing company eliminated over 900,000 empty miles in one year alone.
UPS Asset Utilization
UPS operates one of the largest and most efficient asset networks in the world. To maintain its intricate equipment balance, UPS has to move over 20,000 empty trailers and containers every day. We’re on a mission to fill them with freight.
When UPS acquired Coyote, we gained access to over 75,000 assets and 14,000 UPS drivers. This combination allows us to deliver more cost-effective, sustainable and customized solutions to both shippers and carriers in various market conditions and situations.
On-Demand Trailer Programs
Flexible drop trailer programs are our newest flexible solution that eliminates costly backhauls by pairing competitive pricing with scalable capacity. We source leased trailers for consistent, high-volume lanes, then utilize power only carriers to shuttle the trailers between multiple shippers.
This flexible, more cost-effective solution allows us to ship any load, regardless of destination, on a leased trailer, thus eliminating complicated loading schedules and creating continuous, round-trip movements for carriers.
All trailers are equipped with GPS, providing efficiencies for drivers and creating real-time visibility for Coyote and our shippers. On-demand trailer leasing isn’t your typical brokerage solution—it provides carriers consistent, scheduled moves and gives shippers scalable and reliable capacity.
Find out how a shipper moved 55,000 tires using a model based off UPS Peak season support.
Another way to reduce trucking emissions is to eliminate full truckloads altogether and search for more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly ways to ship freight. Through our proprietary, internally-designed technology, we analyze your networks, hunting for modal conversion opportunities.
Converting over-the-road to intermodal (IMDL) shipping on the rail is one of the most sustainable options in the industry. Trains are, on average, four times more fuel-efficient than trucks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent.
Learn more about the differences between intermodal and over-the-road shipping.
Shipping less than truckload (LTL) and volume LTL is another great way to reduce carbon emissions. When you only need a few pallets shipped rather than a full truckload, LTL is much more cost-effective than utilizing an entire truck.
Coyote’s LTL team scours your networks, looking for consolidation opportunities, thus further reducing emissions from empty backhauls. Plus, our Flex Solutions team also helps LTL carriers with network rebalancing to further reduce inefficiencies and waste.
Find out the key differences between LTL and full truckload to help you make smarter decisions.
Improving your carbon footprint goes beyond just reducing emissions. Having a comprehensive view of your supply chain through a transportation management system (TMS)—complete with big data—is one of the best ways to collaborate and improve your processes.
Our Managed Supply Chain team is designed to provide full network visibility through TMS services, allowing you to streamline efficiencies, cut costs and optimize your networks. It is a knowledgeable team that connects every facet of the supply chain, so you and your company can plan and source capacity more sustainably.
Read how Pregis improved their operations with help from the Managed team's insights.
Creating a More Sustainable Future
Sustainability is all about improving today’s actions to ensure we have access to resources in the future. The more we improve our carbon footprint today, the better off the environment—and our industry—will be in the coming years.
At Coyote, you can count on us to constantly be on the hunt for new and more sustainable solutions for your supply chain. Whether it’s leveraging our TMS services, eliminating empty miles with private fleet or drop trailer programs, or overlaying multiple networks to find greener shipping options, we will always live up to our mission of doing the right thing for shippers, carriers, and of course, the environment.
“Coyote Logistics crunches pricing, lane information, service metrics and capacity to recommend the best shipping solutions to customers, eliminating empty miles and reducing carbon emissions.”
-Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability for UPS Europe
This article was partially based on the Sustainable Brands article, “Investing in Innovative Technology Can Drive Sustainable Growth” published in May 2017.