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07 Oct 2021

Reducing CO2 emissions in aggregate distribution

The average aggregate consumption per capita in Europe is nearly 6 tons per year, according to the European Aggregates Association. In the UK, the aggregates market produces around 1.7 million tons of CO2 per year. Around 40% of CO2 emissions produced by the industry can be attributed to transporting aggregates.  

In Norway – Europe’s largest aggregate producer – resources are plentiful and production, which relies on sand, gravel and crushed rock, is primarily used for roads. Concerns for the environment have redirected focus on reducing the number of miles driven to transport aggregates by using local aggregate materials.  

Reducing transport 

This would significantly impact the economics of a project. Theoretically, you can move costs from transport to improving aggregate production to build more sustainable infrastructure.   

In the UK, rail has been suggested as the more eco-friendly way to transport these materials. However, this isn’t practical, given the road network’s density, which provides easy and flexible access to customers.  

Solutions have to also benefit businesses 

Transporting aggregate must also be cost-effective. Otherwise, there’s no reason to handle it at all, and we need aggregates for infrastructure to sustain growing populations. Solutions must be implemented that benefit both the environment and businesses. Efficiency is the crown jewel. If you can reduce the costs of fuel and labour, you can reduce your operating costs while also addressing your other goal: cutting your CO2 emissions, thanks to decreased fuel usage.  

Avoid empty miles 

This is helpful for your business and lessens your carbon footprint.  For example, we’re seeing a trend of roll-off containers that carry away waste from construction and demolition sites also being used for aggregate distribution. Empty runs translate to non-revenue miles for you and stress on the environment. But if you avoid those empty miles by giving equipment additional duties, then you can avoid putting extra vehicles on the road.  

Optimise your logistics 

AMCS’s best-in-class transportation optimisation systems provide users with some interesting results that cut CO2 emissions: 

  • Up to 20% reduction in miles driven 
  • Up to 10% fewer vehicles needed 

Digitalisation streamlines and optimises your processes. For example, AMCS technologies can plan multi-day trips for delivery and shunting. That’s just one way it can reduce your miles driven and vehicles needed.  

They also eliminate the need for paper. That’s not only a benefit for the environment but saves on operating costs. That might sound miniscule, but according to a study by Gartner, Inc., each piece of paper you handle costs your business $20 U.S. when you factor in printing costs, time, etc.  

Routes are optimised according to orders, unforeseen events – and can even be re-optimised en-route – because everything works in real time. No wasted journeys, in other words.  

Further reductions in CO2 emissions can be found in significantly decreased waiting times for trucks. An example of this is Denmark, where you need documentation stating the origin and type of soil you’re transporting.  With digital technologies from AMCS, the driver doesn’t even have to stop by the office to collect the necessary certificate. Mobile Workforce, AMCS’s in-cab technology, allows the driver to access the certificate digitally and immediately when called upon.  

No long idling times. The job is completed more efficiently. Again, we see the environmental and business benefits working together.  

For a healthier company 

While we’re talking how AMCS Mobile Workforce, we should mention the ability to exchange data with your back office, capture surcharges, take photos for verification – it all works together to help you become far more productive than before.

AMCS Aggregates Planner can further optimise your processes with automatic order creation for aggregate transportation, based on your customer stock levels and consumption curves.