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Driving freight to a zero-waste future — Net-Zero Carbon

Leaf Logistics focused on reducing empty miles

(Image: FreightWaves)

On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, Andrea Pope from Leaf Logistics and host Tyler Cole discuss removing waste from road freight. 

Leaf is focused on revolutionizing freight procurement by building a more transparent industrywide network of shippers and logistics service providers. It reviews opportunities to reduce emissions today and forecasts future solutions to bring net-zero freight to market.

When asked about how the company approaches social, environmental and financial (triple-bottom-line) sustainability, Pope said, “The more you can tie those together, the easier it is for our customers to go after them.”

One-third of truckload capacity goes wasted, so “we’re focused on reducing wasted miles,” Pope said. She said up to a third of trucking-related emissions could be eliminated by better optimizing truckload capacity.

“As you drive efficiency, what you’re also delivering are financial benefits for all sides,” Pope said. 

Buying and selling freight like a commodity

Pope said the future of transportation could work like a utility where “you buy and sell. And you’re not buying for a specific lane. But you’re buying volume on a specific corridor or for a specific type of move. How that’s being supplied will be determined based on the market condition at that given time and where that capacity relies.”

The peaks and valleys as far as demands for moving more goods at different times of year have the potential to be managed similar to a commodity in the future, Pope said. 

Cole said, “We’re really not just talking about optimizing spot demand matching. We’re talking about revolutionizing freight procurement.”

Cole and Pope discussed how driving efficiencies can help improve sustainability, which is front of mind among freight companies. Leaf Logistics measures empty miles and is experimenting with how to calculate the related emissions. 

Dwell time is another area that could improve triple-bottom-line sustainability. Longer dwell times increase idle emissions from trucks and waste truck drivers’ time.

It’s a challenge to get all of the data and technology working together to coordinate truck arrival times and warehouse scheduling, but Cole and Pope said it’s only a matter of time.

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.