Menu
Home
Log in / Register
 
Home arrow Business & Finance arrow Green Transportation Logistics
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Preface

Scope

The title of this book is “Green Transportation Logistics,” and the subtitle is “The Quest for Win–Win Solutions.” It is therefore fair that in this Preface we start by trying to explain what we mean by both.

The traditional analysis of transportation logistics problems has been in terms of cost-benefit, economic, or other optimization criteria from the point of view of the logistics provider, carrier, shipper, or other end user. Such traditional analysis by and large either ignores environmental issues or considers them of secondary importance. Green transportation logistics tries to bring the environmental dimension into the problem, by analyzing various trade-offs and exploring “win–win” solutions. In doing so, criteria for the benefit of the private end user may give their place to criteria that are more relevant from a societal point of view.

Interest in green transportation logistics has grown in recent years due to increased emphasis by both private industry and policy-makers to make transportation more environment-friendly. The objective to attain a green performance of the overall transportation supply chain is and is likely to be a central goal for both industry and policy-makers in the years ahead. To that effect, various analyses of many aspects of the problem have been and are being carried out and a spectrum of environment-friendly measures is being contemplated. These measures may be technological, logistics-based or market-based, and may have important sideeffects as regards the economics and logistics of the supply chain.

There can be many definitions of the word “green,” and a definition can be critical as regards the subsequent approach and measures to achieve whatever goal is set. For instance, if by green we mean minimizing emissions from transportation, and we subsequently strive to apply a series of technological measures that would achieve that goal, a conceivable outcome might be that transportation may become unprofitable and various undesirable side-effects may occur, including reduction of trade, relocation, or even shutdown of production, and possibly others. It is clear that one can always minimize emissions from A to B if trade from A to B is minimized. In the extreme case that trade from A to B ceases to exist because no operator would make a profit engaging in that trade, emissions would drive down to zero. But that's not a desirable outcome.

So things may be more complex than they appear at first glance, and in fact the goal of greening the logistical supply chain may involve several trade-offs that are at stake, and which have to be analyzed and evaluated if a desirable solution is to be achieved. The purpose of this book is to take a critical look at these trade-offs, take stock at models that can be used to assess them, and discuss possible relevant measures and policies. In the long road towards a sustainable global transportation system, a sound knowledge of the balances between economic and environmental objectives, and of the factors that may affect these balances, is a necessary condition. We believe that the material in this book will help improve such knowledge.

In a strict sense, what we mean by green transportation logistics will hopefully

become clearer to the reader after this book has been read. However, to set the stage and give the reader an idea of what will follow, below is a working definition of the phrase “green transportation logistics” in this book:

• Green transportation logistics is an attempt to attain an acceptable environmental performance in the transportation supply chain, while at the same time respecting traditional economic performance criteria.

Social criteria are often embedded in the above definition, either on their own right, or as part of the set of economic criteria. It is clear that the weights among the various criteria vary among stakeholders, a private operator assigning more weight to economic criteria, an environmental organization more weight to environmental criteria, and others perhaps preferring social criteria. Whatever it is, achieving the above is what we call a “win–win” scenario, and the pursuit of win–win solutions is the underpinning concept in the book. As we will see throughout the book, a win– win outcome may not always be achievable. The word “sustainable” is often used to denote a similar outcome, and sustainable transportation logistics is often meant to imply a transportation system that combines acceptable economic, environmental, and social performances.

The above definition also implies that there exists a well-defined set of criteria to assess the various facets of performance of the logistical system under consideration. These criteria are often called key performance indicators (KPIs). Selecting appropriate and meaningful KPIs is a very important step and one that may be more difficult than it seems at first glance. Difficulties may be due to a variety of reasons, as will be seen later.

Part of this book will draw from the recently completed EU project “SuperGreen” on green corridors,[1] whose purpose has been to assist EU policymakers to analyze policy alternatives as regards attaining a good performance both from an economic and from an environmental perspective. This combined goal is

Fig. 1 Global CO2 emissions, 2007 baseline year. Adapted from Buhaug et al. (2009)

central in a variety of recent EU policy documents and will form the basis for future development of the Trans-European Network (TEN-T). In addition, we supplement the book by several chapters drawn from work outside the above, covering both the methodological base and the application context.

Several clarifications need to be made at the outset, on the scope, and therefore contents of the book:

First, and as regards the primary focus, what we mean in this book by “acceptable environmental performance” is mainly acceptable level of emissions. This is so due to the increased attention anthropogenic emissions have been getting in recent years, both at a global and a regional level. Among them, certainly carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have attracted much of the focus from a climate change perspective and the world community has set ambitious goals to mitigate them. To put things into perspective, Fig. 1 shows the global breakdown of emissions among major energy producing industries (2007 baseline year). It can be seen that the top CO2 producer is electricity and heat production (35 %). Transportation activities account for 27 % of the total, and among them the top CO2 producer is road (21.3 % of total and 78.8 % of transportation emissions).

Other types of emissions, such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx),

and others are also important.

It should be recognized that, other than emissions, there are certainly additional environmental attributes of transportation that may create undesirable effects. These include noise, hazardous substances, oil pollution, ballast water, dust, residues, garbage, and others. Apart from some individual considerations (see for instance noise in aviation, Chap. 13), the book will not focus on such other attributes.

What may be a second bias in the book is that it has a distinct, yet nonexclusive, European tint. Again this stems in part from the SuperGreen project, which gave us a chance to look at a broad spectrum of EU R&D and regulatory policies on green transportation issues. We believe that this causes no loss of generality and even that some of these activities may serve as models for other parts of the world. On selected cases, such as for instance maritime transportation (Chaps. 8–11) and air transportation (Chap. 13), a more global perspective is taken.

A third orientation of the book is its main focus on freight as opposed to

passenger transportation. This stems from the fact that much of the material of the book (Chaps. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 12, as well as Annex I) is based on the results of SuperGreen, which had a freight perspective. In addition, material on maritime transportation (Chaps. 8–11) and inland navigation (Chap. 14) is mostly on freight. However, the chapters on green vehicle routing (Chap. 7), which is on a road setting, on being green on sulphur (Chap. 10), and on green air transportation (Chap. 13) may also concern passenger transportation. In addition, the chapters in which the TEN-T is discussed (Chaps. 1 and 4) refer to both freight and passengers, as the TEN-T is designed for both. In many instances, freight and passengers share the same infrastructures, and this has to be kept in mind. Green urban transportation logistics, a significant topic in and of itself, and which involves, among other things, city logistics, last mile logistics, public transportation logistics, grocery logistics, electric vehicle logistics, and bicycle transportation, is by and large outside the main scope of the book. The interested reader may refer to, among other sources, Gonzalez-Feliu, Semet, and Routhier (2014) and Meyer and Meyer (2013), and also to a number of R&D projects that approach the above subjects from a sustainability perspective. These include Citylog, [2] Enclose,[3] LaMiLo, [4] and Sugar.[5]

The rest of this Preface is structured as follows. The section that follows discusses some of the challenges in green tranpsortation logistics. Then we outline how the rest of this book is organized. We finally comment on the intended audience of the book, including what the reader is expected to get out of it.

  • [1] supergreenproject.eu/
  • [2] city-log.eu/
  • [3] enclose.eu/
  • [4] lamiloproject.eu/
  • [5] sugarlogistics.eu/
 
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >
 
Subjects
Accounting
Business & Finance
Communication
Computer Science
Economics
Education
Engineering
Environment
Geography
Health
History
Language & Literature
Law
Management
Marketing
Philosophy
Political science
Psychology
Religion
Sociology
Travel