Move towards Green Transformation: How CEP service providers' decarbonization succeeds

The logistics industry is currently at a critical phase: while shipment volumes are continuously growing worldwide, ongoing cost pressures and sustainability aspects present huge challenges for courier, express and parcel (CEP) service providers. It is therefore important for these providers to clearly stand out from the competition and find the right responses to environmental issues. A central component of this is the decarbonization of fleets.

Environmental protection has long been a present feature in our society. More and more customers are choosing environmentally friendly delivery methods. The willingness to pay a premium for these is growing. Even politics is having an increasing influence on company fleets. For public contracts, the EU’s Clean Vehicles Directive sets minimum targets for the procurement of low-emission road vehicles. Those who act early can gain strategic competitive advantages. Leading companies are already switching to alternative powertrain types and are therefore putting pressure on other players.

Alternatives to combustion engines are paving the way to the future

Choices for CEP service providers range from bridging technologies to plug-in hybrids to electric battery or fuel cell vehicles. Cargo bikes and autonomous delivery methods such as parcel drones also offer innovative replacements for motorized vehicles. In the passenger car segment, electric vehicles still currently prevail over fuel cell vehicles.  When it comes to trucks, automotive manufacturers are launching the first fully battery- or hydrogen-powered models. Both technologies are shaping up well: electric vehicles offer the benefit of high energy efficiency, while fuel cells promise larger ranges and quicker charging times. However, both powertrain types require the creation of essential infrastructure.

Shaping fleet conversion successfully

Selecting suitable technologies and vehicle concepts
Which alternative powertrain is suitable varies depending on the business model. CEP service providers must therefore analyze their business model thoroughly and create an individual technical requirements profile based on this analysis. A feasibility study that includes the performance parameters of alternative technologies and vehicle concepts allows providers to make an initial choice of suitable powertrain types.

Ensuring economic efficiency and financing
Low-emission technologies also present fundamentally different cost structures. For this reason, a business plan should be created that compares different scenarios and demonstrates the total cost of ownership. It is also worth identifying and securing relevant subsidies during this process.

Creating a holistic operating concept
If an alternative powertrain is chosen, a target picture for a holistic operating concept must be created. This should contain all measures that are required for successful implementation, from the creation of infrastructure to change management to the identification of essential partnerships across the value chain.

Tackling Green Transformation together

Decarbonization projects often require a comprehensive transformation that involves new tasks and challenges. We know from numerous customer projects that the following factors are decisive for the successful decarbonization of CEP fleets:

  • The efficient and effective design of new route and deployment plans which take into account required loading infrastructure
  • The further development of the current operating concept with regard to new powertrains as well as loading times and expenses
  • The establishment of required competencies within the organization, for example in material requirements for the provision of new vehicles
  • The elimination of uncertainties, such as in terms of availability, price development and subsequent costs of low-emission technologies

Together with our customers, we conduct feasibility studies on CEP industry decarbonization and create a business case or scenario model for alternative powertrains. We support companies from subsidy consultation to the development of a holistic operating concept for low-emission delivery.