Moving into 2022, sustainability is top of mind for consumers and logistics companies alike. Logistics has historically been a high carbon intensity industry, as transportation of all kinds accounts for approximately 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That makes transportation the largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
With natural disasters on the rise and climate change dominating the news cycle, the public is focused on the need to decrease harmful emissions and clean up the planet. This has led consumers to look further into the full life cycle impact of products (which includes the supply chains) and actively seek the most sustainable alternative for purchase.
The fight to keep consumers happy — coupled with their own concern about a warming planet — has pushed logistics companies across the board to focus on sustainability. Carriers, shippers and stakeholders alike are turning to technology companies for a solution that will reduce harmful emissions in the short term.
Pittsburgh-based Locomation is leading the pack with its Autonomous Relay Convoy (ARC) technology. Locomation’s technology system not only significantly reduces emissions in the short term but also improves operating efficiencies and lower costs.
Locomation earned high marks on a peer-reviewed, third-party environmental impact report conducted by Boundless Impact Research and Analytics last month.
The report compared Locomation’s ARC technology with other available technologies aimed at reducing fuel consumption, including cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC) and idle reduction technology (IRT). The comparison found that Locomation’s ARC technology lowered each truck’s fossil fuel energy footprint and greenhouse gas emissions more effectively than the other solutions while simultaneously reducing operating costs more than its competitors.
Boundless estimated that Locomation’s ARC system can reduce a truck’s greenhouse gas footprint by about 22% per ton-kilometer (tkm). CACC and IRT systems each came in at closer to 10%.
Locomation’s ARC technology also outpaced competitors when it came to fossil fuel energy footprint. Boundless found that the fossil fuel energy footprint of a truck utilizing the ARC system came in at about 1.52 megajoules of fossil energy per tkm.
“The fossil fuel energy footprint of a truck with Locomation’s system is 21% lower than that of the traditional Class 8 truck, 6% lower than a truck with a CACC system and 6% lower than a truck with an IRT system,” according to the report.
In terms of operating costs, the differences between the evaluated systems were even starker.
Boundless estimates that installing an IRT system could cut operating costs by a mere 1.1%, while installing a CACC system could actually increase operating costs by an average of 1.28% when transporting 1 ton of goods a distance of 1 kilometer. These systems pale in comparison to Locomation’s ARC technology.
“The operating cost of a truck using Locomation’s ARC system was estimated as $0.06 per tkm,” according to the Boundless report. “Locomation’s operating cost represents a 19% reduction compared to a traditional Class 8 truck.”
Overall, Locomation’s ARC technology outperformed competitors across the board during the assessment, earning it praise from Boundless.
“Boundless scores Locomation 10/10 on per-unit impact, considering pre-deployment information provided by Locomation,” the report reads. “Based on information provided by Locomation, its ARC technology can reduce idling by up to 90% and increase fuel efficiency by 8% on average, resulting in a lower greenhouse gas footprint and operating cost than a traditional Class 8 truck.”
Ultimately, the recent Boundless report indicates that Locomation has achieved its goal of creating a solution that helps save the planet and saves people money.