Carbon cuts and labour will determine logistics locations

The logistics business has changed significantly in the last 20 years but the next 10 will see transformational change as it grapples with becoming more sustainable against a backdrop of a diminishing labour supply.

Delivery and logistics business DHL has already invested heavily in readying its transport fleet for the company’s stringent targets for cutting carbon emissions to zero by 2050.

“We’ve committed to spend €7 billion by 2030 to ensure that our carbon output comes down below a certain level,” said Ben Segelman, who is DHL Supply Chain’s head of capital markets for UK, Ireland Mainland Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“That will require investment in all types of new carbon saving technologies,” he told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts.

That includes biofuels for its fleet of aircraft, introducing electric aircraft, and electrifying the road vehicle fleet.

“Globally we have one of the largest fleets of vehicles and obviously it’s a large polluter, but we have to think about changing that and updating it so that we can bring in some real change,” he said.

Change will also occur in the property that DHL occupies. Historically, economics has dictated that its facilities are located in transportation hubs, but emerging labour shortages and the changing technologies mean that the workforce may have a bigger pull on location, Segelman said.

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