Those empty miles a truck drives between loads: Inevitable waste of fuel or fodder for the emissions-minded disruptor?
Digital freight network Convoy’s entire business model hinges on eliminating that waste by linking networks through data science and machine learning. Just last week, Convoy announced its campaign #NoEmptyMiles, seeking to scale its network and find additional efficiencies for carriers, including a long tail of smaller fleets. Carriers that join the Convoy network will optimize workflows by finding better loads, while also saving costs and reducing fuel.
As sustainability initiatives take hold across the supply chain, it’s easy for companies to aspire toward cutting-edge technologies like electric vehicles, but Convoy’s focus on empty miles emphasizes the importance of looking within your transportation network and current supply chain to work toward change and carbon neutrality.
“Convoy has done its homework to understand how they can effect immediate change,” said Danny Gomez, managing director of financial and emerging markets at FreightWaves. “Every company needs to dig into their business. Before they set goals of being net zero by 2030, 2035 or 2040, they need to understand what’s happening in their network or with the suppliers that are feeding into their network and start to set realistic goals with realistic technologies that are available to them.”
Convoy CEO Dan Lewis recently spoke with FreightWaves founder Craig Fuller about how the ubiquitous ownership of smartphones changed the thought processes and possibilities in the industry, especially the ability to provide smaller carriers opportunities similar to those of larger industry constituents. The influx of technology paired with the extensive COVID-related disruption has presented a ripe opportunity for continued innovation.
“This disruption that we’ve seen is probably the best thing in a really long time for supply chain education, because everybody’s feeling the pain,” said Tyler Cole, FreightWaves’ director of carbon intelligence. “We’re starting to question a lot of the methods and business models that we’ve had in place for the last 20 years. I know that carbon will be a part of that as we start to retrain the next generation of supply chain professionals to look at ways to better manage the system.”