On this episode of Net-Zero Carbon, host Tyler Cole chats with Graham Major-Ex, head of green business at Sennder. Sennder is a Berlin, Germany-based digital freight-forwarding company that aims to help decarbonize road freight.
Major-Ex’s team oversees green freight offerings and is working to scale low-carbon solutions. Sennder provides multiple options for freight buyers, including verified improved emissions reporting and pilot and commercial scale initiatives around electrification and alternative fuels.
Initial feedback concluded that shippers didn’t care about green logistics, Major-Ex said. Sennder started offering green shipping services to see how shippers would respond.
“They do want it. They are willing to prioritize parts of their network to make it happen green,” he said.
Sustainable fuel options
Sennder provides its customers with fuel as a service. “We allow our customers to choose the fuel that goes in their truck,” Major-Ex said.
The company offers renewable diesel, which can reduce emissions by up to 90%. It also offers biodiesel, or B100, that reduces emissions by about 60%, Major-Ex said. Sennder has done its first electric transports with a 40-ton vehicle for carbon black producer Cabot.
“Advanced fuels do cost more than our traditional fossil diesel, but the main thing is that when I talk to our customers, they’ve been asking for low-carbon solutions for five or 10 years,” Major-Ex said.
He said the uptake of lower-carbon fuels has been very strong.
Companies that operate in countries without access to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), also known as renewable diesel, can still pay to reap the emissions benefits using Sennder’s recently launched HVO-flex solution.
Sennder’s technology matches up how much renewable diesel a company wants to be responsible for with how much is used, even if it’s on a different truck in another country.
Cole said the opportunity to digitize fuel networks is “virtually untapped,” partially because some people are still unsure of how it works.
Europe is dealing with diesel prices of about $9 per gallon, Major-Ex said. So the cost gap between using renewable diesel and conventional diesel is shrinking.
Major-Ex said he expects exponential growth in the electric trucking industry as battery costs are exponentially decreasing and battery density is exponentially increasing.
Data and emissions tracking
Sennder is automating more and more processes. It started with tracking fuel usage and has expanded into an effort to build in and share fuel and greenhouse gas emissions data across the company.
Sennder started using Global Logistics Emissions Council-approved default values for emissions, and Major-Ex said he is working on getting fleet data collections. A fleet sample default value would provide more specific and accurate data. But connecting a truck’s telematics for fuel consumption with its carbon emissions is going straight to the source for the best data possible.
“What really gets exciting is when you get information directly from the trucks,” Major-Ex said. He predicted that Sennder would have primary fuel consumption and emissions data by 2024.