Chief Executive Officer, Irish Exporters Association
The need for greater sustainability in haulage is driven by several, interconnected factors. Addressing these issues is crucial for the wellbeing of the environment, society and the long-term viability of the freight transportation industry.
Transportation, particularly with traditional fossil fuel-powered vehicles, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions; but we are seeing advancements in technology, which are improving the efficiency of road haulage.
Technology in road haulage
Hauliers are adopting alternative fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or biodiesel. We are seeing an uptake in investment in fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles, such as hybrid or electric trucks. However, range and charging remain challenges for the latter source of energy.
Route and load optimisation is an increasingly common practice among hauliers. Using technology to optimise routes and reduce the distance travelled while minimising fuel consumption helps to reduce emissions. Optimised cargo loads also help to ensure trucks carry the maximum amount of goods while helping to reduce the number of trips required to transport goods.
The road transport sector is working closely with suppliers and customers to promote sustainability throughout the entire supply chain.
Sustainable practices across supply chain
Our members in the road transportation sector are acutely aware of the need to adopt more sustainable practices. The Irish Exporters Association urges hauliers to take advantage of all available incentives and subsidies for this adaptation.
Renewable energy sources should be considered for powering facilities and charging electric vehicles, such as solar or wind energy. The Government should support the development of eco-friendly infrastructure, such as dedicated lanes for electric vehicles; more charging stations at strategic locations is a must.
The road transport sector is working closely with suppliers and customers to promote sustainability throughout the entire supply chain, from manufacturing to transportation and delivery. Carbon onsetting is being utilised to balance out emissions that cannot be avoided. This involves direct investment and involvement in local projects; working collaboratively with these projects to reduce or capture an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases.
Global impact of sustainable haulage
Governments around the world are implementing and tightening regulations related to emissions and environmental impact. Adapting to sustainable haulage practices is crucial for compliance with current and future regulations. Countries and organisations worldwide have committed to reducing carbon emissions to mitigate the climate crisis. Sustainable practices in haulage are essential for meeting these targets.
The need for greater sustainability in haulage is driven by environmental concerns, regulatory pressures, economic considerations and changing societal expectations. Embracing sustainable practices is not only a responsibility but also a strategic imperative for the long-term success of the haulage industry.