Freight Logistics Decarbonization Whitepaper: LEAD the green wave, bring the DEEP impact

Freight Logistics Decarbonization Whitepaper: LEAD the green wave, bring the DEEP impact

June 4, 2024

The trend of net-zero transformation in the logistics industry has become inevitable, and node decarbonization*is the key.

Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, green and net-zero development has become a consensus for human social development. The freight logistics industry is one of the major sources of global carbon emissions. On one hand, the gradual improvement of policies and regulations, as well as the clear preference of investors, have injected a strong "driving force" for the industry's decarbonization; on the other hand, the expectations of shippers and end consumers have also formed a powerful "pulling force". Decarbonization transformation has become an urgent task for the freight logistics industry. Across the whole industrial chain, carbon reduction at the nodes is highly feasible, which is the key to decarbonization and should not be overlooked, with seaports offering the most promising prospect in green and net-zero transformation.

Green and net-zero transformation of nodes is not an overnight process, and digitalization is a prerequisite.

Decarbonization of logistics nodes should not be limited to energy transformation or renovation of a single piece of equipment, but requires overall planning, systematic implementation, and gradual achievement of goals. Roland Berger, together with Westwell, has summarized the "LEAD" methodology for freight logistics decarbonization. Taking seaports as an example, logistics nodes can achieve the "DEEP" values of economical friendly, people friendly, and environment friendly while completing decarbonization goals through three stages: "Electrification", "AI-driven intelligence", and overall "Linked ecology" transformation. It is worth noting that digitalization plays a crucial role in the decarbonization of freight logistics nodes. Intelligent upgrades through digitalization at single points, systems, and across all scenarios, along with seamless data flows, are the necessary path to achieving green and low-carbon goals.

Node decarbonization will be continuously iterative and interconnected, moving towards a net-zero future.

The green transformation of freight logistics not only relies on the decarbonization of individual nodes but also requires the joint efforts of the entire ecosystem. Taking seaport decarbonization as a prototype, the "LEAD" methodology will be gradually replicated and promoted to other logistics nodes such as air cargo terminals, and manufacturing hubs, and will be comprehensively optimized through road freight links. Through the synergy of multiple nodes and multiple links, a comprehensive green and net-zero transformation of the entire industrial chain will be achieved.

* Node decarbonization refers to the process of reducing or eliminating carbon emissions at key logistics nodes or hubs within the freight logistics network. These nodes can include seaports, air cargo terminals, and other intermodal facilities.

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White paper

Freight Logistics Decarbonization Whitepaper: LEAD the green wave, bring the DEEP impact


In recent years, green carbon reduction has become a global focus. As a major contributor to global carbon emissions, freight logistics industry must actively pursue decarbonization. Roland Berger has released the "LEAD" decarbonization methodology tailored for freight logistics industry. This methodology incorporates practical experiences from multiple leading cases and provides a clear phased decarbonization roadmap for enterprises across different segments and development stages.

Published June 2024. Available in