Companies that already collaborated with suppliers on sustainability were generally better equipped to deal with supply shortages and other challenges posed by the pandemic.
added five all-electric, 18-foot delivery trucks to its fleet in Vancouver, along with four new e-bikes. When Purolator put its first 30 hybrids on the road in 2005, all-electric vehicles were expensive and complex.“Today, we’re finally getting to the point where electric batteries are becoming more affordable,” says Serge Viola, director of the national fleet at Purolator, in Mississauga, Ontario. With a single drive train, an all- electric vehicle is a bit lighter and more efficient than a hybrid. “And you can reach zero greenhouse gas emissions when driving on the road,” Viola adds. Purolator procured the trucks from Motiv Power Systems of Foster City, California, which electrifies standard Ford truck chassis—usually the F-53, F-59, or E-450—to produce electric vehicles. Purolator’s trucks are based on the F-59, with bodies built on top of the chassis to match the rest of its fleet. “We typically use three lithium-ion battery packs, which give a range on a single charge of up to 169 kilometers, or 105 miles,” says Prasad Ramakrishnan, COO of Motiv. “That requires eight hours to recharge.” Purolator is assigning the electric trucks to routes that keep them within
Based in San Francisco, Pachama invests in projects to preserve forests around the world—for example, by paying landowners to keep trees intact rather than clear land for agriculture. “Out of the gate, we built a portfolio of three forestry projects in Peru, Alaska, and Mexico,” Naim says. Pachama uses satellite imagery and other technologies to verify that the forests are actually preserved, he adds. PLUG-IN TRUCKS For Canadian transportation company Purolator, one key to working toward zero emissions by 2050, in line with Canada’s national goal, is electrification. Purolator has used hybrid-electric trucks, plus some low-speed electric vehicles and electric bikes, for pickup and delivery in Montreal and Toronto for some time. In the spring of 2021, it
we know they would do it,” says Khaled Naim, co-founder and CEO at Onfleet. After a company opts in to Onfleet Offset, at the end of each month Onfleet calculates the number of miles that company’s delivery drivers have covered, distinguishing among vehicle types. “If they are using scooters, bicycles, or motorcycles, the emissions will be lower than for trucks,” Naim says. Using the greenhouse gas coefficient established by the Environmental Protection Agency for each transportation mode, the system calculates the fleet’s carbon impact and tabulates a dollar value, at $4 per metric ton of carbon. That total appears as a line on the customer’s invoice for the month. “We then match that with our own $4 per ton and send the funds to our partner, Pachama, which uses the money to buy carbon credits,” Naim says.
Canadian courier company Purolator recently launched a fleet of 18-foot electric delivery trucks and e-bikes. In addition to reducing truck traffic and noise pollution, the new all-electric vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 24 metric tons per year (per vehicle).
38 Inbound Logistics • June 2021
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