As one of the main players on the international market, the KBM Affilips group (*) is more than 95% export-oriented. The company ships around 20,000 tons of what are called "master alloys" every year to a wide range of metal industries in 80 countries. Consequently, the company has developed enormous expertise in global shipping and local storage. But until recently, all transport from Tienen to Antwerp was done entirely by road.
Under the guidance of Multimodaal.Vlaanderen, the company started looking into the possibilities of a modal shift. It soon became clear that switching to a combination of inland waterway and road transport would benefit both mobility and CO2 emissions. Here is where Manuport Logistics came in. Previously, the entire route was by road: via the E40 and the Brussels Ring Road to the E19 and Antwerp Ring Road to the sea terminal. Now the two biggest mobility hubs are avoided. The route starts by road to the inland terminal BCTN in Meerhout, where it switches to a barge that sails up to the marine terminal.
The tests at Manuport Logistics went flawlessly, and the local carrier providing the pre-transportation was also enthusiastic. There are no waiting times when picking up the empty container and bringing back the full one to the inland terminal of BCTN in Meerhout, and no traffic jams during transport. And this means satisfied drivers!
Gunter Wouters, Logistics Manager at Affilips NV, summarizes:
"Thanks to the modal shift, we have saved 17,000 km by road. And when you make kilometer savings, you also reduce CO2 emissions: by about 16%, in this case. In addition, this way of working delivers a small financial advantage, and by shipping the containers via Meerhout, one driver can deliver up to three containers in one day, while via Antwerp it was often only one."
As the world becomes more aware of the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the environment, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One industry that has taken significant steps to do so is the freight forwarding industry. Freight forwarders are responsible for coordinating the transportation of goods from one location to another, often using different modes of transport and with the help of a logistic partner. In recent years, many forwarders have shifted toward multi-modal transportation as a way to reduce emissions, with promising results.
One example of this is a freight forwarder that managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 16% due to its multi-modal shift. This forwarder got in contact with Manuport Logistics and worked together to create and implement a strategy of using multiple modes of transportation, including road, rail, sea, and air, to transport goods across the world. By using the most efficient mode of transport for each leg of the journey, the forwarder has been able to reduce the emissions related to each shipment.
For example, for shorter distances, the forwarder uses road transport, which is often the most efficient and cost-effective mode of transport for distances of less than 500km. For longer distances, the forwarder has shifted to rail and sea transport, which emit significantly less CO2 than air transport. Air transport is still used for urgent or time-sensitive shipments, but only when necessary.
The forwarder has also taken steps to reduce the emissions associated with the vehicles used in transportation. For example, it has invested in more fuel-efficient vehicles and ensured that its drivers are trained to drive in a way that maximizes fuel efficiency. It has also encouraged its customers to use more sustainable packaging materials to further reduce the emissions related to transportation.
The results of these efforts have been impressive. The forwarder has managed to reduce its CO2 emissions by 16% since implementing the multi-modal strategy. This reduction is equivalent to taking 500 cars off the road for a year or powering 1,600 homes for a year. Not only has this been beneficial for the environment, but it has also had economic benefits for the forwarder, as the reduction in emissions has cut costs and increased efficiency.
The success of this freight forwarder demonstrates that it is possible to reduce emissions in the transportation industry through the use of multi-modal transport. By utilizing the most efficient mode of transport for each leg of the journey, businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. As the world continues to become more conscious of the impact of emissions on the environment, it is likely that more and more forwarders will adopt multi-modal transport strategies in the future. The world is changing, and so should we. The collaboration between Affilips NV and Manuport Logistics takes us one step closer to a better and more prosperous future.