Let’s get thinking on how we can reduce our Carbon Footprint operationally

The environment is an incredibly complex subject.  We at Maxi want to provoke more thought, challenge and debate into the subject.

Carbon footprint is not as easy as it sounds to accurately capture – some judgements are scientific, some are not.  There is not one single standard and interpretation is crucial.  We all have to up our game to reduce our carbon footprint.  By definition, a not ‘one fits all’ approach in reducing in stages.  Going to Ireland will have a partly different solution than the UK mainland.

It is now an agenda topic at most meetings and tenders,

Today, carbon footprint is an art not a science – examples:

  • In the case of shipping, how do you factor passengers/ freight/load fill in?
  • How do you factor in seasonability?
  • How do you factor different mpgs by route in, e.g. Livingston to Cairnryan will have lower mpg  than Daventry to Holyhead?
  • How do you factor difference between days and nights?
  • How do roadworks/accidents impact?
  • Age of vehicle, e.g. new  vehicles better mpg?
  • How do you calculate the impact of high versus  standard height trailers?
  • How do you factor in built in market imbalances; as an example, more to Scotland than from it?

There is not one tool that calculates this.

Demands will come in stages:

  • Stage 1 is to map out the current carbon footprint, job by job, as a starting point; then plan and show how it decreases.  Our new traffic system captures raw data.
  • Introduction of alternate power sources away from diesel; as an example, HVO as a stepping point to zero, not a full solution.

Much will depend on how technology develops and the associated Government policy.

For one second, stop and think what our industry wastes on carbon footprint:

  • Empty running
  • Empty shipping
  • Not enough deliveries at night
  • Trailers not full
  • Not using more deckers in imbalanced markets
  • In movement to Ireland, longer road journeys than necessary, e.g. Cairnryan
  • Trunking goods from England to Ireland with positioning of product from England to Scotland first
  • Using 12t maxed out re weight
  • Allowing deliveries everywhere everyday
  • Extra mileage to find somewhere to park overnight
  • Not enough training and monitoring on mpgs
  • Vehicles idling
  • Lead times may dictate route to market
  • One way pallets that are scrapped
  • Heat treated pallets to Ireland with associated extra mileage
  • Unit only running, especially at weekends re full yards
  • Drivers not taking optimum route to delivery point
  • Height of trailer meaning diversions for low bridges
  • Drop order not being in geographic order
  • Different carriers delivering groupage to same delivery point each day
  • Cardboard being used for packaging rather than emballage
  • Slipped loads meaning off route mileage
  • Refused goods/returns

The key to all of this is:

  • What technology evolves and how much more economic it becomes.
  • What the Government does now and in the future.
    • Long trailers are now coming in place.  Some of our customers will be able to use, some won’t.  This needs to be explored on a customer by customer by market basis.

Is it likely for the likes of rigids that weight will be increased?

Could artic weight increase partially or in the whole?  As an example, there is a lobby for containers/multi modal to have higher weights.

Some tax benefit for HVO on a temporary basis.

Ongoing debate between hydrogen and electricity in respect of zero emissions.

What grants the Government will give.

The impact on the second hand market, e.g. there isn’t one in scale to start of with which will restrict entry level;  also, at some stage, the diesel second hand market will collapse.

Could the Government ban the sale of second hand diesel at some stage and have a scrapping grant?

Rural v urban considerations.

Shipping company policy re what they will accept; could the Government intervene?

In our case, does Ireland and the UK move at the same pace?

Other Things to Consider:

What works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow or vice versa; as an example, the new Belfast – Heysham ships which arrive in 2025 will give that route a serious competitive carbon footprint.

We need to be seen to be active on this subject.