With the recent launch of its Cloverleaf program, Odyssey Logistics and Technology Corp. has joined the ranks of companies offering customers a sustainability tool to reduce emissions and costs along their supply chains.
“The program offers technical and consultative resources that both shippers and carriers can use to reduce their carbon footprints, while improving the speed, resilience and efficiency of their supply chains. Real-time analytics provide the insights required to make optimal transportation decisions that result in a cleaner planet and strong economic performance,” Bob Shellman, president and CEO at Odyssey Logistics, told FreightWaves.
Shellman said the program uses advanced data tools that collect information for the actual route that freight takes, including the origin, carrier and destination. It then applies the Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions calculations according to the industry standard.
“Real-time visibility — along with predictive and prescriptive analytics — are provided to our own sustainability specialists and customer/carrier house teams via customizable dashboards, enabling better and more beneficial choices,” Shellman said.
The program uses European Chemical Industry Council and European Chemical Transport Association guidelines to track emissions.
Once specialists at Odyssey have emissions data, operational, economic and sustainability goals are added to a client company’s profile. Then, Odyssey offers education and consulting to shippers and carriers to develop sustainability policies and practices.
Lastly, the program analyzes a variety of sustainable solutions that can decrease a company’s carbon footprint and benefit its operations. Shellman said Odyssey has explored the ways that emerging and advancing technologies such as electrification, AI, analytics and Internet of Things connectivity can be used to reduce emissions in the industry.
Cloverleaf program put to work
An average long-haul trucking transport for chemical corporations spans more than 2,500 miles across the U.S. and results in approximately 5 tons of CO2 emissions, Shellman said. But, he noted, switching to intermodal International Organization for Standardization (ISO) tanks can reduce CO2 emissions to less than 2 tons for the same journey.
The sustainability program converts an average of about 22 million miles from over-the-road trucking to rail monthly, saving about 26,400 tons of CO2 emissions, according to Odyssey. Cloverleaf has prevented approximately 165,045 tons of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere this year to date.
The program is on track to reduce emissions by 300,000 tons of CO2 by the end of the year, according to a release. That’s the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 65,244 passenger cars off of the road for a year.
“Sustainability is not an afterthought or an add-on. It’s a new way of doing business,” Shellman said.
He cited a major chemical corporation as an example. Because the company didn’t have storage facilities on-site, it struggled with excessive idle time as drivers waited for loads to be ready. Odyssey recommended moving the chemical via intermodal ISO tanks and staging the tanks in a nearby yard. Shellman said the company continues to search for similar intermodal and storage solutions that can reduce emissions and improve efficiency.
“Designed and executed properly, sustainability does more than protect and improve the environment,” Shellman said. “It helps customers and carrier partners build stronger, more profitable supply chains — all the while providing people in every part of the world [with] dependable access to food, medicine and other essential goods.”