What Software Solutions are Used for Green Logistics in the EU and the USA: Differences, Pros, and Cons of Each Approach
Learn about the standards, pros, and cons of green software solutions in the US and the EU.
What is Green Logistics Software?
The growth of online retailers and shipping mechanisms in the EU and US has encouraged more consumers to do their regular shopping online. Transferring purchases across international borders is not uncommon, adding time and complexity to the supply chain. All of these processes increase the pace at which emissions and contaminants enter the environment.
That’s why green logistics has become a hot topic in recent years. It is an effort to mitigate this crisis by preserving and maintaining our natural resources. It’s where governments establish green logistics rules and companies have to follow them, but none of this happens without green logistics software.
The term “green logistics” refers to a form of logistics planning that takes into account the company’s impact on the environment. As a company-wide initiative, it tries to reduce negative effects on the natural world while maintaining or improving financial performance.
To do this, a company needs to manage energy consumption levels, optimize routes, improve driver training, track shipments, and many other tasks that rely on collecting and analyzing massive volumes of data. Obviously, this cannot happen without a reliable software solution that can provide real-time insights into these factors. This software solution is called Green Logistics Software.
Norms and standards of green logistics in Europe
When talking about standards and regulations, particularly in the environmental sphere, you can find many common points between different parts of the world, including the EU and the US. With that being said, we’ll start with Europe.
Both the public sector (including legislatures, governments, and administrations) and the private sector (including carriers, shippers, etc.) contribute to logistics. Public entities are trying to develop a framework for green logistics through:
- Regulations, standards, and incentives by doing things like creating a master plan for green logistics
- Allocating funds to modern propulsion technology
- Offering grants for green projects in the transport industry, and
- Mandating training for drivers.
Private parties can perform singular actions as a private logistics organization:
- Minimizing energy usage by installing low-energy lights
- Utilizing recycled tires, and
- Improving the security of vehicles via things like anti-blocking devices or traction control.
The primary indicators for logistics sustainability are based on a number of different metrics:
- Fuel efficiency (L/100km)
- Tire durability (No. of tires used annually)
- Standard truck capacity (Ton/truck)
- Expenses related to water use (L / month)
- Monthly waste generation rate (Ton/month)
US Green Logistics Norms and Standards
In addition to the above measures and metrics, the US government has adopted several other quality control systems to certify green logistics companies. One prime example is using environmental management systems (EMS).
There is some level of government involvement, and many voluntary standards are present, the most prominent of which is the EMAS (Environmental Management and Audit System). Companies that adopt green procedures while setting up monitoring and reporting systems are given official certificates of approval under these systems.
Companies often use this certification as a selling point in public relations, marketing, and lobbying efforts since it shows they care about the environment. That’s a huge break from the norm when efficiency, quality, and cost evaluations were all that mattered. It shows the company’s dedication to environmental inspection and reviews.
What software is used in the EU in green logistics?
For a logistics company, being “Green” simply means following the standards and norms set by the US government or the EU. So, the most critical issue for these companies is compliance.
Now more than ever, businesses have a responsibility to guarantee that they are safe for human and environmental consumption and follow the guidelines set out by the Circular Economy in the European Union. In order to overcome these obstacles, businesses must implement extensive and efficient product compliance systems. Software is a vital tool for helping businesses follow these rules.
Generally, logistics software for green logistics offers some or all of these features:
- Insightful, real-time analyses via AI and advanced analytics, provide a solid basis for making sound decisions
- Using route optimization for calculating the quickest and most affordable path, reducing delivery costs
- Timely operations and deliveries thanks to tools that fully automate the selection and packaging of products, and provide flexible logistics planning
- Easy, adaptable order fulfillment through driver apps
- Lot and batch number tracking solutions that work from start to finish
- Effective digital work schedules that support strategic human resource management
- Predictive maintenance: Predictive and preventative maintenance plans are rooted in real-time monitoring and data analytics.
What software is used in the US for green logistics?
Compliance control has a lot of moving parts, and many of them, such as data collecting, monitoring, and reporting, may be automated by using green transportation and logistics software. This not only improves the efficiency and accuracy of the compliance process but also helps businesses in anticipating and preventing compliance issues that may arise.
Here are some of the most common green logistics software types in the US:
By integrating separate procedures for loading and transporting items into a unified system, logistics software optimizes routes. Planning the workload and itineraries for trucks and drivers is possible with logistics tools that gather data on the number of flights, the number of items delivered, and the delivery sites.
The process of fulfilling a customer’s purchase begins with the first-mile pickup. That’s why companies must keep their eyes open for possibilities for growth. In order to expedite pickups, drivers are automatically assigned to nearby distribution centers and hubs depending on their geolocation.
Business users get full insight into the mid-mile operations with mobile hubs technology and AI parcel management. With the ability to record flight/vehicle data and connecting timings, they can take advantage of smart route planning over air and land. In addition, they can guarantee efficient trip planning by using smart scans to load and unload cargo.
How does custom software help deal with challenges in green logistics?
As you’ll see later in the article, there are two major challenges with implementing green logistics solutions: Keeping up with specific regulations, and the lack of a tailored strategy to improve a company’s environmental impact.
Both in the US and the EU, there are simply too many federal states or nations with different laws and regulations. Now, add that to the numerous logistics companies in those regions, and you’ll see that a general green logistics solution cannot work for all of these companies.
Similarly, each company has different issues in terms of route planning, fuel consumption, driver training, etc. So, again, a general solution does not work equally well for all businesses.
The only solution is obviously a custom green logistics software program that is tailored to specific company needs and regulations.
Comparison of software requirements in the US and EU
Both the US and the EU have standards and regulations for software development. The goal of these guidelines is to improve the quality of services provided by software businesses and their security aspects.
Despite some differences, there are many overlaps between the standards of these two regions. Overall, you can compare their differences in three main categories.
|Copyright||The purpose of U.S. copyright law is to ensure that the right people get money from an original work. The developer doesn’t need to apply for copyright ownership, and if granted, it will remain in place until 70 years after the developer’s demise.||In the European Union, there is a stronger emphasis on safeguarding the rights of creators to profit from the software and limit how other parties can use the software.|
|Data privacy||In the United States, we have the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This extensive data privacy statute provides the people of California with more information and choices about how their personal data is collected and used by private organizations.||The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Its goal is to level the playing field for corporations while giving consumers a greater say over their personal information.
In the realm of electronic communications, the ePrivacy Directive (often known as the “cookie law”) sets strict guidelines for protecting personal information. It forbids things like sending “spam” or other commercial electronic communications to those who haven’t specifically requested them. Cookies are strictly regulated, and only with permission may contact information be made public.
|Quality management||EMAS (Environmental Management and Audit System)
Companies that adopt green procedures while setting up monitoring and reporting systems are given official certificates of approval under these systems.
|ISO 9001:2015 and the Capability Maturity Model Integration.
All throughout the globe, people are using the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Your degree of quality determines your ranking (from 1–5). This shows that several aspects of your approach have been improved. You may enhance your capacity to serve your clients well with the help of CMMI Services.
Beyond these regulations, there are international ISO standards, particularly the ISO/IEC 15939 & 14143. They detail what must be done to develop, launch, and improve the software measurement process. They do not include a list of software indicators or techniques for evaluating the quality of an application or software.
Pros and cons of green logistics software
Now, it’s time to discuss the general benefits and challenges of using green logistics software in the US and Europe.
Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) may greatly benefit from green logistics software since it helps with establishing the most effective and environmentally friendly delivery routes.
This has several benefits, including fewer delays, fewer pollutants, and lower fuel costs. Taking into account parameters like distance, speed, workload, highway conditions, and customer needs, green logistics software can determine the optimal routes.
Carbon footprint measurement and reporting
Green logistics software is able to monitor and assess the environmental effect of the items and commodities they manage, as well as the carbon footprint and energy use of the various modes of transportation.
This is particularly useful in the US as the second country in the world with the largest footprint. Currently, the US emits over 55 tonnes of CO2 per capita while the EU is less than half of that, with only 24 tonnes per capita.
Warehouse and stock control
Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) may also improve their impact by using green logistics software to streamline their warehouse and stock control procedures. Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) may benefit from green logistics software by cutting down on waste, excessive stock, and waste and getting more out of their storage facilities.
Understanding Environmental Legislations
The primary challenge in the US and the EU is figuring out the vast number of environmental laws and regulations issued by various state and federal agencies and legislative chambers. It is difficult to understand the critical environmental laws and, ultimately, follow them, if your company does not have a specialist in the environmental sector on staff.
Implementation of Solutions
A governing body may easily identify the effects of the logistics industry on the environment and devise strategies to mitigate those effects, but can such strategies be easily put into practice? Despite challenges in both the US and the EU, this is a bigger problem in the EU because there are simply many states with different national interests, making it harder to implement a unified approach.
Not enough tailored strategies for environmental problems
Sensors, drones, artificial intelligence, and analytics are just a few examples of the specialized tools and solutions the industry requires to gather and analyze huge volumes of data in order to obtain new insights and make substantial changes. Again, this can be a bigger issue in the EU because every member has different needs and resources, making it impossible to adopt a general approach.
What experience does TRIARE have in developing logistics software?
When it comes to updating and creating new software for logistics, no one does it better than TRIARE, an established logistics software development company. We have extensive experience working with customers in the logistics and transportation sector, so we know what it takes to create safe, private software.
Developing GDPR-compliant software is a specialty of ours. In order to create affordable, scalable, and flexible software, we adhere to ISO-certified guidelines and use serverless solutions.
Emerging trends and technology point to a bright future for green logistics. New developments in green energy, technology, and the cycle economy offer exciting ways to cut down on carbon emissions even more. You can be part of this future and capture a nice share of the market. All you need is a reliable green logistics software solution. We can help you with that. Just get in touch and we’ll take it from there.