Adopting a freight data exchange standard could help reduce carbon emissions by 22% in global supply chains by 2050, according to a report from the Coalition for Reimagined Mobility (ReMo) and the International Transport Forum (ITF).
The group’s research found that clean fuel and electrification alone are not enough to decarbonize the freight sector, but that improved data sharing could bridge the gap. That opportunity exists because supply chain digitalization has lagged as market and regulatory failures have created barriers to change, Washington, D.C.-based ReMo said.
The conclusion comes from a report titled “Solving the Global Supply Chain Crisis with Data Sharing” that uses ITF modeling to show that deploying an open freight data exchange standard would improve operational efficiencies and reduce the level of goods stuck at global ports. Streamlining the supply chain in that way would also reduce sea freight emissions by 280 million tons of carbon per year and cut road freight emissions by 360 million tons of carbon per year, eliminating the use of 2.5 billion barrels of oil per year and generating a 6% cost savings per ton-kilometer, the model showed.
To reach those goals, ReMo called for launching a global policy that would require the use of freight data exchange standards as a condition for accessing ports. Backed by seed funding for ports and industry stakeholders, such standards would communicate near real-time logistics data and enable targeted intermodal exchange and smart steaming programs to realize near-term emissions reduction benefits, the group said.
“We need a comprehensive plan of action to decarbonize our global freight sector,” ReMo Co-chair Mary Nichols said in a release. “Business as usual is not an option. As we transition to increasingly lower carbon fuels, vessels, and vehicles, we must also rapidly deploy technology solutions that will drive operational efficiencies—and critically needed climate benefits—across the global supply chain.”
The plan echoes earlier calls to break up supply chain clogs with better data sharing, including a White House initiative in March to create a logistics information exchange called “Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW).”