Categories
Logistics News

Tax Credits & Sustainability in Trucking

As we progress further into the 21st century, it has become more and more significant to us as a society to pay attention to the way we take care of our planet. Generations new and old alike have succeeded in discovering ways for humans to reduce their impact and protect the resources that Earth still provides us. How can we apply this to the world of transportation?

Running in line with the research determined by the Rhodium Group, the results of a study came out roughly a year ago alongside a tax credit extension package being passed through policymakers. The article considers different strategies to be employed by the U.S. to help advance clean energy legislation. For example, if drivers were to exchange their gas-reliant vehicles for their electric counterparts, that change alone would “nearly double the number of electric vehicles on the road through 2025.”

The research states that, “By 2030, wind and solar could supply up to 31% of total US electricity.” The article acknowledges that although the current American political situation likely will not allow for much in the way of “comprehensive climate policy,” small changes are still a very real possibility and may present some opportunities that those in the trucking industry could take advantage of. Some of the proposed target tax edits would be “A credit of up to $7,500 for each new electric vehicle sold (Section 30D),” and, “A suite of tax credits for advanced biofuel producers and blenders (Sections 40, 40A and 6426).”

Shipping sustainably with green trucks

There are some that are hesitant to invest in the difference between electric and gas-powered automobiles, being understandably intimidated by the higher price tags often associated with going green. However, with the reality being that “the transportation sector has been the US’s top-emitting sector since 2016,” it is important to emphasize that “Rapid technology development has already lowered EV prices through steady reductions in battery costs by over 80% since 2010.” If America finds itself interested in becoming a leader in the international community for adopting sustainable practices, the time to start looking closely at these initiatives should be now. Legislation that relaxes policies trying to go green and reducing the costs to do so will prove most effective in providing incentives for companies to help decarbonize the U.S. The article even suggests replacing gasoline with low-carbon substitutes (especially conventional ethanol) to ease the process of transitioning.

Green trucking on a global scale

Looking at it from a global standpoint, the proposed tax credits “could fill up to 25% of the gap between US emissions under current policy and its Paris commitments.” Separate studies conducted by the EEA (European Economic Area show that thanks to their efforts, “[a]verage CO2 emissions of new passenger cars in the EU has fallen steadily over recent years, decreasing by around 30% since 2001.”

“The European Commission’s evaluation study suggests that the CO2 Regulation on cars is likely to have accounted for 65-85 % of the reductions in tailpipe emissions achieved following its introduction.” 

Statistics like these show that other countries have seen the importance of sustainability and are making genuine efforts to reach goals that they are setting in that aim. Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for Economy, stated earlier this year that, “Taxation will have an essential role to play in delivering on our climate commitments.” On the subject of environmental taxes, Gentiloni believes that they “can encourage more responsible behavior and help offset the costs of the environmental transition.”

Earlier this year in March, Gentiloni and his commission outlined a set of laws that intend to make the entire continent eliminate their net carbon emissions by 2050. While governments are figuring out how quickly they want to join the race to save Earth, it is up to companies to act quickly and make use out of the legislation being pushed forward. By pushing for and accepting tax credits, those in logistics can upgrade their technology at reduced costs through investing in better infrastructure

Related sources:

https://www.axios.com/tax-incentives-carbon-emission-cuts-34286c82-276e-4a6c-bbb2-c9adf039c850.html

https://about.bnef.com/blog/behind-scenes-take-lithium-ion-battery-prices/

https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/tax-breaks-and-incentives-make

https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/transport/vehicles-taxation/appropriate-taxes-and-incentives-do

https://ec.europa.eu/clima/sites/clima/files/transport/vehicles/docs/evaluation_ldv_co2_regs_en.pdf

https://www.accountingtoday.com/articles/tax-deployed-as-europes-biggest-weapon-to-halt-climate-change

Categories
Logistics News Shipper News

Sustainability in Supply Chain Management

Sustainability, or “Going Green,” is a hot topic these days, for both consumers and companies. From a logistics standpoint, sustainability will require an emphasis on finding shorter, more optimal routes and greener technologies. It is also important to keep in mind worries that some may have regarding the maintainability of efficiency and lowered costs even while using more sustainable methods. 

Although many have begun incorporating sustainable practices for the planet into their daily lives, such as by recycling plastic bottles or no longer using straws, the most significant carbon footprints are up to large companies and governments to reverse. Jesse Klein from GreenBiz Group noted that Mike Roeth, “executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and truck operations leader at Rocky Mountain Institute, […] describes trucking’s current transition to more sustainable operations as ‘the messy middle.’”

A greener trucking industry

One suggestion to a greener trucking industry is to have drivers switch to electric vehicles, but this would require a large amount of time and investment in order to make the switch in infrastructure. Even then, during a webcast, “Patrick Browne, director of global sustainability at UPS, emphasized […] that going fully electric isn’t an option for most fleets. “It’s going to be a poly-fuel future,’ Browne said.”

Regardless of the difficulties, some states are marching ahead on orders to help save the planet. This year, California’s Air Resource Board (CARB) passed the Advanced Clean Truck rule, requiring that over half of all trucks sold by 2035 be zero-emission, and that by 2045, all trucks must be zero-emission vehicles. Not all states follow this model, but California is leading the way to a future that we all must eventually trudge toward – like it or not, we are all on the planet together, and how we leave it while we’re here will have direct impacts on its future health for further generations.

With that said, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds the trucking sector responsible for over 50% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and over 30% of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

The importance of sustainability in logistics

“In Britain alone, known NO2 emissions have been estimated to kill 23,500 people every year, according to aerosol science professor Ian Colbeck of the University of Essex, southeastern England. […] In 2012, the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency classified diesel engine exhaust as cancer-causing.” Research has shown that these emissions are physically dangerous for humans to interact with over long periods of time, and that we would be better off curbing the amount of harmful production from our industry. What options do we have towards that goal?

Outside of fuel efficiency, those in the shipping industry can also look at optimizing loads: moving more freight with fewer trips means fewer carbon emissions, less fuel used, and higher levels of customer happiness. Derek J. Sine, Managing Director of Vander Group, writes that, “transportation department statistics show that somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of the available space on loaded trailers is not being utilized,” meaning there is still ample space to utilize this untapped resource. In addition, packaging using alternative methods can create a packaging process that is cheaper, sustainable, and more protective of both the product and environment. Sine also suggests targeting empty miles, as “DOT statistics show that around 20 percent of the truck miles being driven are empty miles during empty backhauls or deadheads.” 

Overall, ZUUM Transportation hopes for a brighter planet than how we have found it, and is happy to contribute to a future that is simultaneously green and efficient.

Related sources:

https://blog.solistica.com/en/sustainable-logistics-a-priority-for-supply-chains

https://hbr.org/2020/03/a-more-sustainable-supply-chain

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/there-are-many-routes-sustainable-trucking-industry-needs-all-them

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/californias-new-truck-rule-its-big-its-bold-its-controversial

https://www.smartcitiesdive.com/ex/sustainablecitiescollective/bringing-sustainability-trucking-industry/1157616/

https://www.supplychain247.com/article/how_trucking_can_improve_fuel_sustainability

https://www.epa.gov/smartway/why-freight-matters-supply-chain-sustainability

https://phys.org/news/2015-09-nox-gases-diesel-car-fumes.html

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/air-quality-VOCs

https://www.inboundlogistics.com/cms/article/8-sustainable-supply-chain-trends-for-smart-supply-chains/

Categories
Logistics News

Laura & Logistics: A Road to Recovery Ahead

2020 feels like it’s been an impossibly eventful year. From a pandemic and fires to political upheaval, murder hornets, and a hurricane, it continuously seems like nothing else could impact us. However, the US just experienced category 4 Hurricane Laura ravaging the Texas-Louisiana coast. With wind speeds of over 145 mph, CNN describes Laura as, “the most powerful August hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Katrina hit 15 years ago.”

This is how the National Hurricane Center describes hurricanes of this magnitude:  

“Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted, and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

CBS News reports that “at least 20 million people are in the storm’s path and over half a million people have been ordered to evacuate.” Although Louisiana and Texas are no stranger to experiencing hurricanes, this is the first time since we began keeping record that a category 4 or 5 hurricane has hit these particular areas. Officials worry that not enough people are taking the hurricane seriously and evacuating as ordered. NPR has published Nic Hunter’s, Mayor of Lake Charles’s statement as follows: 

“I will be brutally honest,” he said, “we are very concerned that not enough people are evacuating.” These are comments following Texan Governor Greg Abbott’s announcement that “the power of Hurricane Laura is unprecedented.” Evacuation poses a problem for the population affected by Laura since the storm surge is already set to cause extreme damage, and any delay in evacuation could see the roads flooding before everyone is able to get out. And once wind speeds reach about 40 mph, driving on the roads becomes unsafe to the point where it would be difficult for even law enforcement to reach you. 

COVID-19 and Hurricane Laura

To add to the complications, COVID-19 still thrives during August 2020, and Hurricane Laura does nothing to give it pause. CNN news sources spoke to relevant officials from Texas and Louisiana, where they shared details on how they are attempting to stem coronavirus related issues and simultaneously keeping as many people as they can safe. This includes securing hotel rooms with limited guests rather than providing the normal shelter housing and having extra buses to transport people while implementing social distancing measures. It also means a pause in testing, during an especially crucial time when schools are reopening. 

The Impact on Freight

As for the impact to logistics, companies began repositioning freight as early as last week in preparation for Laura. One concern is the blow expected to be endured by the energy sector of the US. “[The hurricane] has prompted 82% of oil output and 57% of natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico to be shut, according to the Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.” The lack of production indicates a possible increase in fuel prices as a result of decreased supply, which also happened after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017. This, in turn, has an inevitable impact on fuel and load adjustments.

As written by Freight Waves, “The potential for disruptions to the nation’s fuel and shipping infrastructure is significant, according to Ben Ruddell, director of the FEWSION project at Northern Arizona University. […]

Downed trees and road closures are major concerns along Interstate 10, according to Mark Russo, chief science officer for Riskpulse, an Austin, Texas-based supply chain analytics firm. I-10 runs east-west through Louisiana and Texas. Russo said during a Tuesday webinar briefing by Riskpulse that high winds and flooding could also close some stretches of Interstate 45, which stretches from Dallas to the Gulf Coast.”

It is highly encouraged that anyone who may be affected by Hurricane Laura follow the guidelines provided to them by their local and national officials. Stay safe and tuned in for more relevant information. 

Related Sources:

https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/26/us/laura-evacuations-covid-19/index.html

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/transportation-logistics-sector-braces-for-hurricane-laura

https://www.ttnews.com/articles/storm-laura-set-slam-us-energy-coast-major-hurricane

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/hurricane-laura-storm-track-path-forecast-today-2020-08-26/

https://www.supplychainquarterly.com/articles/3823-truckload-traffic-jumps-as-shippers-move-freight-away-from-hurricane-laura

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/26/906203511/hurricane-laura-forecast-to-bring-unsurvivable-storm-surge-as-category-4-storm

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/26/906145033/parts-of-texas-including-galveston-brace-for-hurricane-laura

Categories
Logistics News

FreightWaves Reports: ZUUM ‘Unites and Defragments’ Digital Logistics

ZUUM Transportation announced a second round of seed funding at $8.58 million as the industry rush to automate and streamline freight processes continues unabated.

Linda Baker, Senior Environment and Technology Reporter of FreightWaves, interviewed our COO & Co-Founder, Matt Tabatabai, about the future of transportation.

The ZUUM story began in 2016. A digital marketplace connecting shippers and carriers was launched first, followed by a broker-in-a-box solution that allows freight brokers to automate and scale. The modules are now part of the first logistics super platform: A comprehensive platform that includes a shipper transportation management system (TMS), broker software, carrier TMS and mobile driver app.

ZUUM Leadership

While many of the new logistics technology entrants originate in Silicon Valley — and don’t necessarily understand the complexity or the relationship-based nature of moving freight — ZUUM’s executive team has deep roots in logistics as well as in technology development. That combination has informed ZUUM’s collaborative approach to freight and freight technology.

An example of the “connect and streamline” approach is the company’s broker-in-a-box solution, which is designed to help freight brokers who feel threatened by technology. The solution allows traditional freight brokers to digitize and automate their business. Replacing time-consuming manual check-calls, tasks and customer updates with automated notifications maximizes productivity and frees up time.

Accelerating Logistics Innovation

Today, the company has launched seven products on its logistics super platform, enabling freight matching, automated bidding, dispatch, track and trace, workflow automation, digital document management, accounting & payment integration, as well as predictive reports and analytics.

ZUUM is currently automating freight for 235 active customers, including several Fortune 500 companies, and 20,000 carriers on its network. This success is supported through strategic partnerships with investors and other organizations in transportation. 

ZUUM’s latest fundraising round included participation from logistics companies such as Estes Express Lines, BNSF Logistics and Estes Forwarding, as well as SAIC Ventures and Holman Growth Ventures.

“Partnering and collaborating with shippers, brokers, carriers and drivers is our business model,” Says Matt Tabatabai, Co-founder and COO of ZUUM. “We create value by connecting and defragmenting – not by replacing American jobs.” 

ZUUM is accelerating logistics innovation. The raised funds are used for faster growth through sales and marketing, while also developing more features on the technology platform. 

Read full article at FreightWaves.com.

Categories
Broker News Logistics News Supply Chain Expertise

ZUUM Transportation Raises $12.58 Million in Seed Funding

NEWSWIRE PRESS RELEASE  UPDATED: AUG 18, 2020 15:43 EDT

ZUUM announces the recent close of a 2nd round of seed funding at $8.58 million for a total raise of $12.58 million to date. The funding accelerates critical technology innovation in the fragmented logistics industry. ZUUM automates freight for shippers, brokers, carriers, and drivers on one universal platform.

We are humbled and inspired by the investors who share our vision and believe in our mission, including Estes Express Lines, BNSF Logistics, Plug and Play Ventures, Logifruit of Spain, Estes Forwarding, SAIC Ventures, and Holman Growth Ventures,” states Mustafa Azizi, CEO of ZUUM Transportation, Inc.

Since its founding in 2016, ZUUM has grown to deliver thousands of loads per month for more than 235 shippers, including several Fortune 500 companies. Freight is booked on an integrated logistics platform, matching shippers with pre-vetted carriers. Automated bidding, dispatch, track & trace, workflow automation, digital document management, accounting, and predictive reports & analytics help maximize productivity. ZUUM offers the most comprehensive solution in the market to date and the first digital broker-in-the-box software.

Featured in:

“We invested into ZUUM because of the agile, comprehensive technology suite they have developed. We anticipate strong demand from shippers, brokers, and carriers worldwide. ZUUM leadership has deep industry knowledge and a true partnership mindset. We look forward to expanding our cooperation,” says Pat Martin, VP Corporate Sales & Strategic Planning, Estes Express Lines (largest, privately-owned freight shipping company in North America).

AUTOMATE FREIGHT

In 2016, CEO and Founder, Mustafa Azizi, and COO and Co-Founder, Matt Tabatabai, identified an urgent need for more efficiency in the $800 billion trucking industry. Fragmented processes, legacy software, unsustainable revenue models, and a lack of transparency are reducing profit and performance for all participants in the freight industry. For over 20,000 freight brokers in the US, the digital broker-in-the-box solution solves scalability issues. By allowing brokers of any size to digitize and automate, ZUUM increases broker productivity by more than 40%.

FIRST LOGISTICS SUPER PLATFORM

Today, ZUUM delivers efficiency by automating freight nationwide. Digital freight marketplace, shipper TMS, broker software, carrier TMS, and driver app are all connected on one Logistics Super Platform.

Are you a shipper? Shippers access instant freight quotes and gain real-time load visibility.

Are you a freight broker? Brokers accelerate load coverage and automate client notifications.

Are you a carrier? Carriers receive transparent commissions, profitable loads, and route optimization.

ZUUM delivers shipments reliably at a lower cost for shippers and at a higher profit for carriers, while reducing carbon emissions.

“We reduce transportation cost and improve service levels for shippers. Our software minimizes load failures and increases customer satisfaction for brokers. We reduce empty miles and maximize profitability for carriers. After just four years of operations, shippers, brokers, carriers, and drivers from all over the nation are counting on ZUUM. We are proud to automate their freight today, and will continue to build technology that solves the most critical challenges in logistics,” says Matt Tabatabai, COO of ZUUM Transportation, Inc.

About ZUUM Transportation

ZUUM Transportation, Inc. is a rapidly growing tech startup transforming the $1.2 trillion logistics industry. Their vision is to optimize logistics and streamline supply chains globally on one efficient, automated, and easy-to-use super platform. ZUUM combines a digital freight marketplace with a shipper TMS, broker software, carrier TMS, and driver app.

ZUUM – AUTOMATE YOUR FREIGHT ™