Sustainable trends in Logistics

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Logistics is an exceptionally dynamic sector. Each day, the challenges facing this industry require making quick decisions. Some of them concern current solutions and the others strategic perspectives. he reason for most of them are consumers and their changing preferences.

The strategic ones depend on the factual or subjective assessment of the condition of the local and, more frequently, the global economy. Transport, especially full truck loads, is often called the barometer of the economy. In this area, it is easiest to feel the first signs of economic revival and also to notice the drop in transported volumes and changing directions of the flow of goods. These logistics services are also subject to strict regulations which influence their shape in the future.



One of the most important trends [1] is the constant pressure of lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It is the effect of increased awareness and care for the environment, as well as the reaction to the growing fuel prices, which account for 30 to 50% of the transport costs. The next issue is the toll charges. Currently they account for 10% of the total costs of this sector. It seems that many European countries have spotted this opportunity and use it as the steady way to repair their annual budgets. In 2030, the fees for driving into the city centre are expected to grow, which will make them accountable for approximately 15-25% of the total transport costs. At present the impact of these factors is already tremendous. According to the Polish Motor Transport Institute, since 2009, the cost of 1 km in international traffic for Polish carriers has increased by 73%, to the level of euro 0,9, including the fuel by 65%, salaries and business expenses of drivers by 95%, and toll charges by over 500%.


Yet another trend forces the fleet operators to have full transparency of vehicles, traffic, routes and carriers. Tracing the location of the truck, monitoring and management of working hours of drivers, controlling the fuel level in the tank, and real time corrections of vehicle routes aim at reducing empty transports and improving the planning. Experts estimate that including trucks into the car-to-car communication system, which monitors and transfers the current traffic situation, the conditions on roads and possible dangers, will allow for reducing fuel consumptions by at least 10%.


Road transport is closely connected with the issue of road safety. The available packages will allow for reducing road accidents by approximately 50%. Increasing the safety will be possible through the application of solutions used in passenger cars, such as turn and lane assistants, as well as access control and road sign recognition systems. The European Commission has already adopted two resolutions promoting intelligent information services, i.e. real time warnings of dangerous conditions on roads and locations of safe car parks for trucks. The described trends pose quite a challenge for logistics operators. Meeting all requirements means increasing operational efficiency, modernisation of the fleet and the development of IT systems. It will definitely boost competitive pressure and most likely polarize the market. According to the report by the International Road Transport Union [2], there will be a growing trend to operate larger fleets. Currently, approximately 70% of trucks are used by 11% of fleets in Europe.


It must be remembered that the majority of regulations concerning road transport in Europe are drafted by the European Union. According to the White Paper [3], there are plans to create a unified European transport zone. By 2050, we should have a highly competitive market which will use the non-renewable natural resources in a more economical manner. By 2030, the number of cars with conventional drives will have decreased by 1/2. The complete elimination of such vehicles from city traffic should occur 20 years later. Simultaneously, 50% of consignments transported at distances exceeding 300 km will be shifted to other means, such as intermodal transport, which recently has been added to the services rendered by Raben Transport. The number of fatal road accidents should decrease by half by 2020 and by 2050 it should be close to zero. The key aspect is to finally implement the principle: the user and the polluter pay. Experts interpret this as the intention to shift more responsibility and costs to the carriers and the Customers who use road transport.


[1] Report “Truck Transportation 2030” Roland Berger.

[2] Report by the International Road Transport Union, 2009.

[3] Plan to create the unified European transport zone, the UC 2011.

Paweł Trębicki

Paweł Trębicki

Dyrektor Generalny Raben Transport

Absolwent Szkoły Głównej Handlowej oraz programu MBA na Europäische Wirtschaftshochschule Berlin. W roku 2010 roku otrzymał wyróżnienie w konkursie na Menedżera Logistyki.  Jest ekspertem w zakresie transportu całopojazdowego i intermodalnego.


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