Achieving sustainability goals with Digital Trade Facilitation in the Logistics sector

Achieving sustainability goals with Digital Trade Facilitation in the Logistics sector

Digitisation in the logistics industry took trade facilitation to new heights and enabled simple operations. Long standing issues such as real-time visibility, truck dwell time, delay in processing, data inaccuracies to name a few were resolved. But the question remains, how long will this digitisation will last. Will it last forever or for the time being? In order to sustainable growth through digitisation, it is essential to understand and adhere to evolving needs and challenges. Here are certain challenges impacting the growth of the logistics sector. Sustainability through digital trade facilitation will enable a prosperous future for the logistics ecosystem and the globe.

Limiting emissions

Sustainability is always connected to climate change. In the last two/three decades the focus on limiting the environmental impact of human innovations has gone up significantly. Industrial operations are held responsible widely for the same and logistics as well is not left alone. According to an environmental study on emissions, the logistics sector accounts for 14 per cent of the overall carbon emissions. Limiting these emissions are of utmost importance as it not only affects the human life, but also marine and other life forms.

Optimizing conflicting targets

Organisations work on a target and industries consummate them to set a common goal for a specific country/region etc to grow further. For example, assume the goal is to increase shipment handling rate by 20 per cent. Apart from this, the organisation or a common body might have a goal to achieve the reduced carbon emission. Here two goals are conflicting and in turn have diverse interests. Before setting a goal to increase shipment handling by 20 per cent, the organisation or the common body should assess the environmental impact. How much will it contribute to reduce emissions? Therefore, the goals to achieve business and environmental synergies must be met.

Legislations and regulations without causing efficiencies

The purpose of trade facilitation through digitization is to ensure clearance/approvals take place online and a single window facilitation process exists that brings all these processes online. This will eventually promote a paperless trade that contributes to lower emissions and simple processing. Yet, with multiple legislations/regulations, the cost involved in freight processing goes high and makes the whole process inefficient. Optimising the roadblocks involved will significantly improve productivity and raise the stake on efficiency. Next to overcoming the challenges in manual operations, ensuring zero inefficiencies on legislation/regulation will be a value addition.

Collaboration as an enabler

In order to achieve the sustainability goals, all stakeholders i.e. ground handlers, forwarders/consolidators, consignees, Shipping Lines/Airlines, Airport/Seaport authorities, governments, regulatory bodies etc. must act as enablers and ensure the short term and long term targets are met. This will increase the agility of operations and drive the logistics industry towards achieving sustainability goals.
With initiatives such as uberisation of trucks, alternate fuels and waste reduction to name a few, achieving sustainability goals will never be a distant dream. But consistency in ensuring these initiatives with a digital push is the need of the hour. Pushing the limits of digitisation through digital freight corridors, Cargo Community systems/Port Community systems and other e-services suite will be a value addition to ensuring sustainability.