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How Supply Chain Leaders Leverage Freight Audit Data to Reduce the Carbon Footprint

The impact of freight and delivery on the environment is undeniable. Esteemed organisations such as the International Energy Agency (IEA), Accenture, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have conducted extensive research shedding light on the current state of carbon emissions in the supply chain. The findings unequivocally demonstrate the immense magnitude of this effect.

Unveiling the Numbers

Let’s delve into some eye-opening statistics that highlight the environmental implications of the transportation and supply chain industry:

  • The transportation industry alone is responsible for a staggering 37% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. This substantial share underscores the need for immediate action to mitigate its impact.
  • Supply chains as a whole generate a massive 60% of global carbon emissions. This broad category encompasses various activities and processes involved in bringing goods from manufacturers to consumers.
  • The supply chain accounts for over 90% of its carbon emissions. This figure exemplifies the critical role that supply chain management plays in determining an organisation’s overall environmental impact.

Managing Carbon Emissions

Given the significant influence of the global supply chain on the environment, it is imperative for companies to adopt proactive measures to manage and reduce carbon emissions. One vital aspect of this endeavour involves harnessing the power of transportation management systems to collect and analyse pertinent data related to carbon emissions.

Unleashing the Power of Freight Audit Data

One often overlooked solution for managing their carbon emissions lies in leveraging freight audit data, a valuable resource that holds the potential to drive significant improvements in carbon emissions management. By analysing and optimising freight audit data, companies can not only reduce their environmental impact but also unlock cost savings and enhance operational efficiency.

Understanding Freight Audit Data

Freight audit data refers to the detailed information collected during the auditing process of transportation invoices. It encompasses a wide range of data points, including shipment details, carrier information, routes, distances, fuel consumption, and more. By analysing this data, businesses gain valuable insights into their shipping patterns, costs, and carbon footprint, enabling them to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.

Why Carbon Emissions Management Matters

Climate change and its devastating effects have heightened the urgency for businesses to take responsibility for their carbon emissions. By proactively managing and reducing their carbon footprint, companies can contribute to global efforts to combat climate change, build a sustainable future, and enhance their brand image. With freight transportation being a significant contributor to carbon emissions, leveraging freight audit data becomes a strategic imperative for businesses to align with environmental goals.

Leveraging Freight Audit Data for Carbon Emissions Management

  1. Optimising Route Planning and Consolidation

By utilising freight audit data, companies can identify opportunities for optimising route planning and consolidation. This involves analysing historical shipping data to determine the most efficient routes, minimising the distance travelled, and reducing fuel consumption. By consolidating shipments and avoiding empty backhauls, businesses can further optimise their operations, decrease the number of trips, and subsequently reduce carbon emissions.

  1. Carrier Selection and Collaboration

Freight audit data offers valuable insights into carrier performance, including their environmental practices and carbon emissions. By utilising this data, businesses can select carriers with a demonstrated commitment to sustainability and lower carbon footprints. Collaborating with environmentally conscious carriers not only reduces emissions but also fosters partnerships aligned with shared environmental values.

  1. Mode Shift and Intermodal Opportunities

Freight audit data analysis can help businesses identify opportunities for mode shift and intermodal transportation. By leveraging this data, companies can evaluate the feasibility and potential benefits of utilising alternative transportation modes, such as rail or waterways, for certain shipments. Shifting from trucking to more environmentally friendly modes can significantly reduce carbon emissions, particularly for long-haul shipments.

  1. Load Optimisation and Packaging Efficiency

By analysing freight audit data, businesses can gain insights into load optimisation and packaging efficiency. Optimising shipment packaging reduces the need for additional trucks and minimises wasted space, leading to more efficient transportation and reduced emissions. Furthermore, companies can explore lightweight and eco-friendly packaging materials to further enhance sustainability efforts.

Carbon Emissions Reporting and Compliance

Carbon emissions reporting involves the measurement and disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by an organisation. It provides a comprehensive overview of an entity’s carbon footprint, allowing stakeholders to assess its environmental impact. By quantifying emissions and identifying emission sources, companies can gain valuable insights into their contribution to climate change and identify areas for improvement.


Freight audit data provides valuable insights and opportunities for businesses to optimise their supply chain operations and reduce their carbon footprint. By analysing this data, companies can identify inefficiencies, optimise routes, and implement sustainable practices.