From farm to fork and everywhere in between, the world’s food supply relies on tightly orchestrated logistics to ensure a vast amount of perishable goods reach a growing global population with minimal spoilage and maximum freshness. And, in a world that is increasingly concerned about the effects of carbon emissions, logisticians find themselves balancing a fine line between sustaining human lives and showing stakeholders they are doing the job as sustainably as possible.
It’s especially challenging in the cold chain, where refrigerated containers require constant energy and more fuel to keep products within a specific temperature range to reduce spoilage. Because reefer containers need to be plugged in aboard vessels, it adds an extra layer of complexity to carbon emissions reporting and requires advanced modeling to further optimize locations and lanes.
From shippers’ corporate sustainability goals and the IMO 2020 rules aimed at reducing ocean vessel emissions, to institutional investors’ environmental social governance (ESG) initiatives and the Paris Agreement, the past decade has seen a significant shift toward the promotion of sustainable business practices. But, when it comes to turning words into actions, the first few steps are often the hardest.
Especially when heightened demand for imports means more goods are traveling more miles on more ships and planes. In a world where 90% of the world’s freight travels by ocean, shipping emissions actually grew in 2020 — a year where new regulations were meant to start bringing those numbers down...
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