Transport Intelligence report finds that real-time visibility is instrumental to tackling sustainability
The report, Real-Time Visibility and Sustainability in Europe’s Logistics Sector, lays out the key findings from a survey conducted by Transport Intelligence (Ti) and Sixfold based on responses from key supply chain stakeholders across Europe about their sustainability offering.
The report highlights the importance of digitalisation and collaboration when creating a supply chain sustainability strategy, highlighting the value of real-time visibility (RTV) data when it comes to achieving sustainable operations.
“Survey respondents are clear that reducing emissions is a top priority over the coming years, and that working with technologies and partners to better understand the environmental impact of operations is key. While this is a complex challenge, the paper shows the strategies, technologies and solutions shippers can utilize in solving it,” said Ti Head of Research, Nick Bailey.
The future of sustainability monitoring
According to survey results, the future of sustainability monitoring is moving away from manual systems and into in tech-enabled partnerships.
The survey found that more than 72% of respondents have a supply chain sustainability strategy in place – this includes 52.7% that have had a strategy in place for at least two years and 20.4% with a strategy in place for less than two years.
Within this group, 19.7% use internal manual systems to manage sustainability monitoring, whilst 18.7% use internal automated systems 15.9% use an external third-party automated system. Looking more closely, companies that opted for internal systems (both manual and automated) are also those with the longest-established sustainability strategies whilst businesses with recently established strategies (in the last two years) make more use of automated and third-party systems.
Correspondingly, the levels of ‘total’ visibility sustainability performance are markedly higher for those with newer sustainability strategies established within the last two years. This implies a link between automated and partner-based data capture and quality sustainability monitoring.
However, it’s still interesting to see a reliance on manual systems. “The management of sustainability in European supply chains is changing rapidly and adopting technology at pace. Despite this, manual systems remain common, and data is still siloed – the scale of progress to be made in the coming years will be fascinating to watch,” commented Bailey.
Transport data is key
Logistics and distribution, including contract suppliers, was identified as the most important stage for which it was most important to have access to reliable and timely sustainability data. Understandably so, as data from contracted logistics services is central to the reporting of Scope 3 emissions and will likely make up a significant proportion of the overall environmental impact of many retailers and manufacturers.
Contrastingly, the survey found that contracted and sub-contract carriers provide the lowest levels of visibility in sustainability performance to supply chain partners – with only 17.2% and 15% having ‘total’ visibility respectively. Additionally, respondents identified real-time transport (23.3%), overall transportation (22.5%) and transportation information, excluding real-time (20%) as the most important measures of sustainability performance data.
This preference is also likely driven by the desire to combine real-time data with other technologies and targets within sustainability strategies, which is demonstrated by RTV, along with carrier performance monitoring, being one of the most rapidly adopted technologies – 81% currently use or plan to use these solutions in their supply chain strategies in the next two years.
RTV to play a key role
In particular, RTV is set to become one of the most significant tech-based solutions in the digitalisation of supply chain sustainability.
More companies use RTV within their suitability strategy than any other individual tech-based solution with results showing that 45% use RTV as part of their supply chain strategy and a further 48.6% plan to implement it in the coming years.
Moreover, RTV’s role in sustainability strategies appears to be underway already with 11% stating it was already a part of their sustainability monitoring mix – again, newer strategies appear to be integrating RTV more proactively.