Sustainability has become a top priority for businesses across all industries, and the food and drink sector is no exception. As key contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact, manufacturers are seeking innovative solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and enhance sustainable practices. Two critical aspects are focused around sustainable transportation for food and drink manufacturers, namely: the utilisation of alternative fuels to power transportation and the importance of minimising empty miles.

Reducing Emissions and Driving Change

With operations in 150 countries and carrying $60 billion of merchandise a year, EV Cargo is a leading global freight forwarding, supply chain services and technology company, which manages supply chains for the world’s leading brands.

EV Cargo has committed to reduce emissions in line with the Science Based Targets initiative, targeting a 4.2% annual reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions, and a 2.5% annual reduction in scope 3. However, it wants to go further and is focused on becoming carbon neutral across scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.

Pioneering Sustainable Supply Chain Solutions

EV Cargo has shown how, by working in partnership with food and beverage manufacturers, and using its nationwide network and bespoke technology it can significantly reduce emissions associated with the delivery and distribution chain. The majority of scope 1 emissions are attributable to UK road transport, therefore the greatest opportunity for emissions reduction comes from the choice of fuel and fuel saving for the fleet – fewer miles and friendlier miles.

EV Cargo endorsed a global MOU for zero-emission vehicles and while the longer-term practicalities of zero-emission vehicles are being finalised, it set about using current options to deliver its annual decarbonisation targets. It led the introduction of HVO fuel as a replacement to traditional diesel for a range of customers, creating a greater than 90% reduction in CO2e for vehicles using the fuel.

HVO fuel tanks were installed at Budweiser’s Magor brewery and the project was an instant success, helping decarbonising the brewer’s drinks distribution. In the first five months there was a reduction in emissions across the entire delivery fleet. Across the EV Cargo fleet, over 5.4 million delivery km have been switched to HVO fuel, saving 4,449 tCO2e.

The work the companies did together led to EV Cargo and Budweiser Brewing Group winning the Logistics & Supply Chain Green Initiative Award.

While HVO allows EV Cargo to significantly reduce emissions associated with diesel, it has also invested in electric trucks, partnering with The Park to operate the UK FMCG industry’s first all-electric, zero-emissions HGV. A number of other smaller zero-emissions vehicles have also been introduced for depots providing last-mile deliveries.

The Park packages 25% of all wine sold in the UK. It ships six million bottles of wine per week to leading retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Aldi. With the introduction of electric HGVs, delivering 50,000 bottles a day, The Park will save 2.68kg of CO2 per litre of diesel not consumed.

Minimising Empty Miles: Maximising Efficiency and Resource Optimisation

Trucks now feature real-time coaching technology to deliver proactive rather than reactive improvement around driver behaviours and this has helped average mpg figures improve. EV Cargo is using neural learning-led route planning to enhance delivery scheduling and route planning to reduce miles and emissions associated with DC and retail deliveries.

There is a huge focus on load fill, with smaller consignments routed through the company’s Palletforce pallet network to ensure trucks run as full as possible for as long as possible.

Having an extensive, nationwide network ensures EV Cargo can take advantage of the full potential of reverse logistics to reduce empty miles. EV Cargo has the option to take either return loads to customers – for example, empty kegs back to breweries – or pick up new consignments from other customers.

EV Cargo made great progress in 2022, reducing overall emissions by 29% and saving 158,500 tCO2e.

To conclude, the necessity for food and drink manufacturers to prioritise sustainability in their logistics activities cannot be overstated. Embracing alternative fuels and minimising empty miles are just two powerful strategies that drive significant reductions in carbon emissions and enhance resource optimisation.

By embracing these sustainable practices and partnering with EV Cargo, food and drink manufacturers can not only reduce their environmental impact but also enhance their reputation, drive operational efficiency, and contribute to a more sustainable world.

Contact our team today to discuss transforming your supply chain operations.