As a result of companies concentrating on their core activities, over the years the number of shippers with an own transport fleet has decreased. Those who still have their own fleet do have full control over their sustainability roadmap and should be able to cope with the challenges ahead of them.
However, most shippers do heavily depend on their logistics services providers to improve from a sustainability perspective. How do you then move ahead as shipper, being confronted with the effect of climate agreements and legislation and/or with company and personal objectives in the area of sustainability? How to deal with increased customer demands? How does this fit into your current buying behavior and the current level of cooperation with your supplier base?
For sure, if your ambition to improve your carbon footprint is currently low and is expected to remain as such, you only will need to comply with legislation and your transport suppliers will need to do also. Then there is no need to further read this article. On the other hand, we would expect from all companies in the market place a certain ambition towards sustainability, although you may not yet have clear objectives for logistics. Sustainability is here to stay and action towards improvements in this field are needed.
If you do have the ambition and/or targets to improve your sustainability, then action is needed. First thing to do would be assessing the level of cooperation with your transport suppliers and the ways you are treating them from a logistics procurement perspective. Have you primarily focused at (short term) cost reduction and have you treated transport within your supply chain as a commodity? Then do not expect too much from your supplier(s), unless you do acknowledge the gap between your level of ambition and current reality. Then it is time to start working from here.
If you need to improve your carbon footprint with support from your supplier base, you will need to bridge a possible gap between your level of ambition and your maturity level in the field of sustainability and make a good assessment of your current supplier base. To which extend do you have the right suppliers to further develop and move ahead with? You may draw the conclusion that an exchange of suppliers may be needed.
From here you can then further develop your roadmap, differentiated by the type of transport and at individual supplier level. A one size fits all approach will not work. It will require another type of customer – supplier behavior, well aligned with logistics procurement. Depending on the objectives and foreseen level of maturity and collaboration, also the improvement measures that are to be taken over time, may be different.
You will notice, that the higher your ambition level is, the higher the need for increased and long-term collaboration with your suppliers is.
How to proceed?
Do you have a clear ambition to improve your carbon footprint in transportation, but do not know how to position and address it to your logistics suppliers? Then you may want to participate in our next training round Sustainable Logistics Procurement.
The training consists of a group session updating you on multiple developments in the logistics sustainable procurement area. Then, based on our sustainable procurement maturity survey we will position your company and create together with you in an individual session a roadmap for the coming months. Finally, together, we will have discussions with one or two of your current logistics services providers on how to operate more sustainably. Next training round starts end of May 2021.
Do not hesitate to contact us via LinkedIn or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are ready to help.