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Tue, 26 Jul 2022 Press

AI at the service of a Green Supply Chain

The multiple crises have revealed the importance of the logistic chain, a strategic and critical domain to meet the growing expectations of consumers and make the economy more efficient. To address these issues as well as the needs for resilience and sustainability, artificial intelligence technologies have proven to be crucial in rationalizing the use of resources. How to reorganize logistic plans and streamline supply chains thanks to optimization intelligence?

Two major levers for greener logistics

While a freight train represents 40 trucks, rethinking the organization of transport flows for greater pooling is becoming a necessity.

Among the three levers quoted in the France Logistique report on the environmental impact of Supply Chain, namely “reduce distances”, “increase massification and pooling” and “green engines”, two of them can benefit from mathematical optimization technologies.

1. Reduce distances

By improving warehouses organization and network, distances traveled can be significantly reduced, thus mitigating the carbon impact. Some concrete examples:

  • Better organization of warehouses: from a strategic point of view, optimization technologies make it possible to improve Network Design in order to rationalize their geographical positioning in synergy with operational transport plans.
  • Better management of logistics capacities: to cope with territorial sprawl, optimization softwares offer intelligent management of existing capacities, via the sharing of warehouses between several companies with robust and dynamic management of their occupancy rate.

2. Increase the massification and pooling of flows

To combine operational efficiency and reduction of environmental impact, it is necessary to integrate different decisions layers and optimize them in synergy to consolidate and pool flows. For instance:

  • Using multi-modal transportation: organizing multi-modality with synchronization management at intermediate depots makes it possible to reduce empty routes as well as the number of vehicles required, and thus limit GHG emissions and congestion.
  • Organizing reverse logistics: by integrating reverse logistics and waste recycling with delivery routes, synergies are created and flows optimized.
  • Pooling resources between the different carriers: optimizing the supply chain in a global and systemic way generates the most significant margins for improvement.

Practical case: optimization technologies at the service of a more virtuous and efficient urban logistics system

To meet the logistical challenges of ecological transition, Atoptima and the AppliColis platform — an expert in urban ecological delivery — are developing CycloCo, a centralized system for organizing sustainable, multimodal and intelligent last-mile logistics.

By integrating advanced and tailored optimization modules to assign and plan transport missions, the platform reveals major socio-environmental benefits, ranging from the reduction of operational costs, to the reduction of GHG emissions and the improvement of workload distribution.

Updated Mon, 06 Feb 2023.