Monday, 13 June 2016

The impact of Logistics on the Environment of Sweden

Research questions- How logistics can help to reduce environmental effects in Sweden?

Today logistics is a ‘part and parcel’ of our life. In our daily lives, logistics helps us to acquire our daily stuffs from the retail outlets, provides life-saving drugs for the patients on time, and delivers important letters to our letter box etc. From the New Product Development to the product recycle as well as product disposal to maintain the green environment everywhere logistics plays a crucial role.

Proper logistics management can help the environment in several ways-

• Thorough properly arranging rail and road network (inter-modal network), people will use more rail transport than road transport which is less harmful for the environment.

• Utilizing road transport in its fullest efficiency such as while transporting goods from the company, the truck should be fully loaded (FTL); frequency of busses should be to fill it with maximum number of passengers.

• Company can reduce the pollution by selecting proper transportation mode while acquiring raw materials or transporting finished goods.

• The packing size should be to optimize to utilize maximum space in the carrier vehicle.

• Using reverse logistics to collect waste materials to dispose it in a correct way.

• Selecting right materials at the time of packaging which have less environmental effects.

Fig: Environmental effect of road transportations. (Source: - EUROSTAT)

From morning to night, we are using several transportation modes (rail, car, bus etc.) to go to our work places or using daily stuffs which we are acquiring through the logistics carriers. Several transportation modes have different environmental effects. From the Table 1, we can conclude that Global warming potential of road transport is increasing year by year. From above Fig. we can see the road transport is one of the main sources of environmental pollution (almost four times than rail transport). Therefore, optimizing logistics carriers, logistical impact on the environment can be reduced to make Sweden safer and better place to live.

From the discussion with the professionals from Aerosol industry, Sweden, I got to know that in Aerosol industry, the finished goods are mainly transported through road transport, because transporting through water need to maintain several formalities such as Dangerous Good Documents (DGD) declarations etc. But using more road transport enhances the probability of air pollution. Through increasing flexibility in rules and regulations and encouraging the aerosol manufacturer to transport through water air pollution can be reduced.

In case of Car Industry, optimizing length of the cars, one car-carrier truck can carry more cars and can utilize 100% efficiency to save company’s cost as well as the environment. Due to lack of resources or keeping inventory level low, several companies order small amount of materials, and transport-company carry this material without fully loading the truck.

In case of a city called city-logistics, through properly arranging rail connections between main destinations and encourage (by keeping fare price low, increasing frequency at peak time,) the people to go by train rather than road transport which will make less air pollution.

If we look at separate transportation mode used in Sweden, we will see Railway division is decreasing from 1970 to 2005, but Motor way transport is increasing in year by year which is harmful for the environment. Similarly, Inland water ways is still (until 2005) same as it was in 1970. And oil pipeline is not used in Sweden. But country like United Kingdom, Italy (Source: - EUROSTAT) oil pipeline is used extensively for transferring liquid, which will save our environment from the pollution created by automobiles.


From the table 3 and table 4, we can see the index of transport growth is increasing in Sweden year by year and in the same pace motorization rate of passengers cars and Lorries or Road Tractors are increasing.

In case of Freight transport in Sweden, we can see the percentage of total tonne - kilometres are decreasing in rail transport while it is increasing in road transport.

For passenger Transport by Rail and Buses and Coaches in Sweden using Rail transport is increased little bit, on the other hand, Buses and Coaches are same for four years. Therefore, from the above Fig. and Tables we can conclude that with properly managing logistics, properly planning intermodal transports, environmental effects due to logistics can be reduced.

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