This report from the U of Minnesota’s Northstar Initiative shows why it’s hard to keep business interested in energy efficiency in the supply chain. And it also indicates that cooperation is essential. There’s too much waste in re-positioning vehicles and containers, and no single firm can manage it all alone.
Cooperation is hard to come by, though. Europe is ahead of us in the US, but that’s because the EU has taken a very strong regulatory position. Here we don’t have that added incentive. And supply links are longer here. But we do have the advantage of extensive rail transport, if we continue to improve the system and eliminate bottlenecks, technical, physical, and administrative.
For instance, here in Will County there are several different permitting systems for overweight trucks. Truckers may divert routes to avoid another payment, or may simply go elsewhere to avoid losing time and money.