Reducing Carbon Emissions is a Team Effort, Especially in Transportation, Logistics, and Supply Chain

This blog summarizes a conversation between Chris Cassidy, Chief Revenue Officer at Trax Technologies, and Mary O’Connell, host of the FreightWaves podcast.

Listen here, and read on for a recap.

In the worlds of transportation, logistics, and supply chain, the need for interoperability and cooperation has never been more apparent. 

Every day there are headline-making dynamics in these fields. Currently, negotiations are underway to address new demands for dock worker pay in California. Inbound volumes are trending downward, especially compared to year on year statistics.  

The past two years have seen unprecedented disruption, which is unlikely to subside anytime soon. Add to that a new call — and impending regulations — around Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) which has leaders in the supply chain and transportation/logistics space on high alert. 

Environmental sustainability in the supply chain has become a key point of focus, and one that the leadership team at Trax has faced head on.

The Trax Carbon Emissions Manager provides carbon emissions tracking   across all modes of transportation. Users can track their actual carbon emissions and create benchmarks for tracking against their ESG goals.

Why a Carbon Emissions Tracker for Supply Chain?

What drove Trax to develop this when they’re already thriving as a freight audit and payment company?

Chris explained that, “We’ve been on this journey since the late ‘80s. As we were sitting with customers, enterprise-level shippers in the Fortune 500, we saw a theme emerge around ESG and corporate social responsibility. We acknowledge that we were sitting on $22B of transportation spend. In my past with Gartner, I was part of research findings that 43% of transportation emissions were attributable to transportation.”

Transportation invoice auditing, including origin and destination information, is a part of Trax’s core capabilities. The leadership team has worked hard to build systems, and realize that the immense value of invoice data is the fact that it is actual data, not forecast data. 

Trax is the elite provider of freight audit and payment software and systems, and it has embraced its future as the leading Transportation Spend Management company. All of the meticulous, precision exercises around data collection, standardization, and tacking naturally flow into environmental sustainability initiatives.

The raw data needed to track emissions is contained in freight audit and payment systems and platforms.

How Trax is Supporting Strategic Leadership and Environmental Sustainability

In Chris’s words, “We can help the C-suites and the shipper and carriers’ bottom line. These leaders already have to optimize costs, think about mode of transportation, network design, and more. As they're already deciding how they’re optimizing these things, we can help them look at the invoice data and start to calculate the clean air goal, helping them track against those goals effectively.”

Most companies are on a journey toward implementing sustainability initiatives. For some, there remains a doubt around the timing and cost needed to make this shift.

Chris explained, “I like to tell people to start with a proof of concept. You’re already working with internal stakeholders, deploying systems, and working with external stakeholders. As we think about where we stand with the physical movement of goods and social responsibilities, start simple: ask your carriers, ‘are you investing in alternative fuel types or electric vehicles? Using different aircraft?’ You see a lot of this with Lufthansa and UPS and other major players.”

He goes on to say, “A lot of these initiatives are about getting the train going. We saw it with the serialization of products. If I look back 20 years ago, people were tracking batches from the manufacturer but not to the end customer. As different laws and regulations are implemented, you’ll see a change in the requirement, but everyone has to work together. What we’re seeing is that, if we’re all patient with each other over time, our newer fleets will start to evolve.”

Atmospherically, if transportation contributes to at least 50% of damage, all eyes are on this field. The future fleets will be more carbon neutral or have zero waste. 

But this isn’t a fast shift: it must be built into your systems.

Chris urges leaders into this space to “Embed these efforts into what you already do. Make carriers of choice that are investing in this space. Work with them to understand what type of sustainability and ESG targets they have as a 3PL or broker carrier in transportation.”

If carriers are already working on clean fuel and initiatives, it makes sense to join forces.

As leaders raise the question, it will become clear that this is something in active development across all sectors in our industry. It becomes a mutual partnership between companies, carriers, and additional players.

Gaining Visibility on Environmental Impact

All large shippers have these targets at the CEO level down, it’s all about gaining visibility into the data. You can do that through platforms like Trax. 

Immediately seeing the carrier vehicle type, the origin, the destination, provides a game-changing perspective. Chris describes it this way: “We see this product in our platform as a very easy opportunity for the industry to create collaboration between the shipper and the carrier and report together.”

Efficient emissions networks will be the outcome of ongoing conversations and collaborations and using the right tools to achieve more.

At Trax, the Carbon Emissions Manager tool is purpose-built to support just this.

Chris says, “This tool gives [company leaders] an advantage to not only think about how they optimize the cost of transportation on the freight audit and payment side but the sustainability impact and ROI as they’re making strategic decisions.”

Trax is categorizing this tool as a product pillar. Chris explains, “We will continue to do freight audit and payment. We also provide consultancy advisory services along with that data. This helps answer the important question of what to do with the data to make smarter and better decisions.”

Want to learn more about Trax’s products? Connect with us today.

Up next — Read about Trax’s tactics to support environmental sustainability, starting with tracking CO2 in the supply chain.

Trax Technologies

Trax Technologies

Trax is the global leader in Transportation Spend Management solutions. We partner with the most global and complex brands to drive meaningful optimizations and savings through industry-leading technology solutions and world-class advisory services. With the largest global footprint spanning North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, we enable our clients to have greater control over their transportation performance and spend. Our focus is on your success.