DBL Logistics has partnered with the Management School to provide on-the-road fleet data that could help slash the companies’ supply chain’s carbon footprint.
The University’s cloud-based SCEnAT+ system uses the latest Microsoft modelling software to create sector-average benchmarking for companies’ CO2 emissions, which operators can compare their own performance against. A ‘traffic light’ report highlights to operators which areas require action to improve their carbon impact and which are performing above the norm.
Clarkson said its work with the university has been a “real eye opener” to demonstrate ways the business can not only improve its CO2 impact, but also drive economic efficiencies. The company has been analysing both digital and paper-based operational data from its day-to-day road freight activities across the Sheffield region, such as routing, driver performance and fuel usage. As a result, DBL’s own CO2 emissions report showed how its work as a member of pallet network UPN was an efficient and effective way to reduce road transport emissions.
“It looked at the pallet network model, which I’ve always been a massive advocate of,” said Clarkson. “We were able to analyse what would have happened if goods were delivered outside of the pallet network model, end to end. We saw that the pallet network model saved a significant amount of carbon per delivery compared with general haulage running.”
He added: “I feel that consolidation and the use of the motorway network at night, use of smaller vehicles in urban areas during the day is cost effective and sustainable.”
However, the SCEnAT+ system also flagged up to DBL the inefficiencies of running older vehicles on its fleet in terms of fuel consumption, emissions and maintenance and repair costs. As a result, the company has now opted to refresh its 24-strong tractor and trailer fleet with brand-new kit.
Clarkson told industry publication Freightinthecity.com he had become a firm advocate of boosting DBL’s green credentials since seeing the environmental benefits – saving up to 2.5 tonnes of CO2 per year – and financial returns from the 30kW solar panels installed on the firm’s new warehouse at Tinsley Park. In addition, customers are increasingly seeking more environmental efforts from their logistics operators, he added.
The company is to continue its work with the university, and is hoping to gain private investment or funding to kit out a selection of its fleet with the latest bodywork and alternative fuel capabilities to provide essential data for the SCEnAT+ team.
Clarkson commented; “My vision, if we look at everything we do and with investment in alternative fuels, is to turn DBL Logistics into a carbon-neutral company. If we did that, it would be amazing because it’s unheard of [in a logistics company].”
He added: “It’s not going to happen overnight, but that’s our goal and why we are working with the university.”