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Convoy’s truckload sustainability report — Net-Zero Carbon

Report reveals shippers are striving to reduce empty miles

(Photo: FreightWaves)

On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Tyler Cole, director of carbon intelligence at FreightWaves, is joined by Jennifer Wong, head of sustainability at Convoy, to review Convoy’s latest report on sustainability in truckload transportation. 

They discussed how shippers and logistics service providers have a growing interest in topics ranging from the value of data to improving vehicle efficiency and reducing emissions in freight. Convoy is working to educate and empower the shipping community to pursue a zero-waste future.

“The conversation around empty miles is not a new conversation,” Wong said. Cole said what’s interesting is that the motivation to reduce empty miles used to solely be based on saving money. Now it’s focused on saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Convoy and other companies have the technology to reduce empty miles and match drivers with more loads available today. 

In Convoy’s recent report, most shippers said they are aware that empty miles are a problem, and they’re looking for ways to solve it, Wong said. “It was interesting that this [awareness] was even higher with more of the vice presidents and C-level executives.”

She said that bringing awareness to all levels of an organization, especially to those with more power to make decisions and changes to reduce empty miles, could make a difference.

Convoy works with customers to evaluate lane options for trucking, and the company provides emissions data for each lane. This helps customers get “better insights and recommendations for how they can think about carrier selection outside of the typical scorecard they might be using today,” Wong said.

Providing more flexible pickup and drop-off times can help carriers optimize their schedules. Using these green appointment windows, as Convoy calls them, can also help reduce emissions.

Read: Survey shows 69% of carriers believe reducing empty miles is important to their business

Scope 3 emissions and the value of data

Scope 3 emissions (supply chain-related emissions) are often the largest portion of a company’s emissions, Wong said. Companies have to rely on partners to get accurate data because they “don’t have ownership around these emissions.”

Cole said by “starting to unearth all the complexities around scope 3, we are in early, early innings of a long game of how shippers are going to start to [approach] this.”

Wong said that data is “the first place to start.” It’s where Convoy starts conversations with new customers interested in understanding sustainability outcomes and how to improve them.

Data standards and integrity are also very important “so that everyone is measuring the same things,” Wong said. There are multiple frameworks, and it would be impactful for the freight industry to use a single framework because it would provide more comparable data.

View all of FreightWaves’ Net-Zero Carbon episodes and sustainability stories.

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Alyssa Sporrer

Alyssa is a staff writer at FreightWaves, covering sustainability news in the freight and supply chain industry, from low-carbon fuels to social sustainability, emissions & more. She graduated from Iowa State University with a double major in Marketing and Environmental Studies. She is passionate about all things environmental and enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, ultimate frisbee, hiking, and soccer.