Optimizing Outbound Transportation
For decades, P&G has transported product in a “multi-modal” fashion, that is, using multiple forms of transport. But today, we’re shifting toward “intermodal” transportation, which uses shipping containers that transfer smoothly from one mode to another.
An intermodal approach optimizes the transportation process. And by shifting away from trucks and planes to boats and trains, it saves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions.
Here are just a few examples:
Western Europe: More Trains, More Gains
An intermodal program in Western Europe increases the use of trains in its distribution network. Before the effort, more than 90% of Western Europe’s finished product traveled on trucks, covering over 2 million kilometers of roads. The intermodal program aims to increase rail transportation from 10% to 30% by 2015, reducing CO2 emissions without any trade-offs in customer service or cost.
Pilot programs in Belgium and France have been operating since July 2008, and each has removed up to 5,000 trucks per year from the roads. The pilots have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 4,000 metric tons per year—an amount equal to the CO2 produced by lighting more than 15,000 homes annually.
North America: Trucks and Trains Save Diesel
A transport program in North America, P&G’s first to incorporate an intermodal component combining trucks and trains, has reduced transportation costs and improved Sustainability across the region. Use of intermodal transport has increased by 30% saving 11 million liters of diesel fuel. Overall miles in North America have reduced by 12% since the 2007/2008 fiscal year, while the same volume of product has been delivered.
Brazil: A Longer but Cleaner Journey
Since September 2008, P&G Brazil has bypassed most of the 4,000 kilometers of road between the Manaus plant in the Amazon and the main distribution center in São Paulo.
The new route takes product via the Amazon River to the Atlantic coast where it embarks on an ocean journey, then a rail ride, and finally a short road trip to the distribution center. It’s not the shortest route distance-wise—in fact, it’s 40% longer—but it’s more environmentally sound than truck transport alone because the river and ocean portions of the trip reduce CO2 emissions by at least 60%.