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

2.6 Discussion and Conclusions

As discussed above, there is a growing concern that the Earth's atmospheric composition is being altered by human activities, which can lead to climate change. Although there exist many uncertainties and differing viewpoints within the scientific community, the scientific evidence for warming of the climate system due to anthropogenic activities is unequivocal. Transportation is responsible for roughly one quarter of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In addition, fuel consumption leads to other types of air emissions. Quantifying the total effects is a complex scientific undertaking because of the broad mix of substances and physical/chemical processes involved. This chapter presented some of the basic statistics including current and future trends, see IPCC (2014) for more. A number of measures, operational, technological and others has been stipulated to curb emissions.

Traditional analysis by and large either ignores environmental issues, or considers them of secondary importance. Thus, quantifying the environmental impact of transportation activities is an important task. Other chapters of this book present a variety of measures that may be used to reduce emissions. Some of these solutions are difficult to be implemented. For instance, due to the fact that consumption and production of goods happens in different places, avoiding long journeys is not an easy option. There should be a drastic change e.g. sourcing localized products or restructuring the whole logistic chain. Utilizing advanced Information and Communication technologies (as per Chap. 6), can contribute to this direction. An easier option is to encourage modal shifts to lower-carbon transportation systems and the investment in more fuel-efficient transportation vehicles. Shifting to 'greener' fuels (e.g. natural gas, bio-methane, biofuels etc.) can also be an option although in most cases this would lead to high investment and operational costs. Exploring 'win-win' solutions is also not trivial, as one has to weight between the economic cost and the environmental benefit. The present chapter presents a way to estimate the cost effectiveness of abatement measures.

There are indeed some measures that can be easily applied and they are, or seem to be, cost-effective. For instance increasing the freight load factor and passenger occupancy rates are obvious measures that lead to better energy efficiency. Investing in new technologies is more expensive that adopting an operational measure such as optimizing the operational profile of a vehicle. For example, significant fuel savings can be achieved by encouraging drivers to maintain a consistent speed and restrict their speed (eco-driving). In maritime transportation, reducing speed is by far the most promising emission reduction measure. The reason for many companies having their vessels running in slower speeds is mainly twofold: reduce fuel costs and emissions. Given that fuel costs and emissions are directly proportional to one another (both being directly proportional to fuel used), it would appear that reducing both would be a straightforward way towards a “win-win” solution. In shipping parlance this is known as “slow steaming”. However, some of these operational measures, although effective in meeting environmental objectives, may have non-trivial side effects on the economics of the logistical supply chain; for instance, reductions of speed and changes in the number of ships in the fleet and possibly on things such as in-transit inventory and other costs (for more details see Psaraftis and Kontovas (2013) and Chap. 9 of this book).

One of the major questions posed in this chapter is if there are indeed measures

that come at a negative MAC and how can we identify possible barriers to adopt energy efficient measures. To achieve these win-win results, we should determine the existence of barriers and identify ways to remove them. The first step to energy efficiency is to be able to identify the barriers that exhibit transportation activities. To that extend, we have presented a taxonomy of barriers based on the work of Sorrell et al. (2011) and a review of the literature on barriers as they appear in the industry. A number of measures may not be implemented due to lack of information among owners/operators about the existence of the measure. Sometimes the information received is not well trusted (lack of independent data). In other cases, there are high transaction costs involved in gathering reliable information on fuel saving technologies as real information can mainly be received only when technologies are applied in practice (full-scale experiments). In addition, there may also be hidden costs, for example more energy efficient vehicles may require modifications to the infrastructure. Thus, by removing the relevant barriers we are able to adopt cost effective measures and thus reduce the environmental impact of transportation at a lower cost.

Acknowledgments Work on this chapter has been supported in part by various sources, including the Lloyd's Register Foundation (LRF) in the context of the Centre of Excellence in Ship Total Energy-Emissions-Economy at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), the authors' former affiliation. LRF helps to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. This work has also been supported in part by an internal grant at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >
Business & Finance
Computer Science
Language & Literature
Political science