Trucking towards a greener future

For Fredrik Jonasson and his colleagues at transportation and logistics company DB Schenker, fuel efficiency is gaining equal importance with speed; and mobile broadband is making this possible.

Drivers for DB Schenker in Sweden are trucking towards a more sustainable future with the help of an onboard mobile-broadband-enabled intelligent transport system that monitors and reduces fuel consumption in the freight company's fleet.

The monitoring system allows administrators to check on the location of each truck and to match that information with the flow of incoming orders. Fredrik, who works as Project Manager for Mobile Data, says the system enables the company's fleet to drive shorter distances with full loads and better information.

The mobile-broadband-enabled tools also monitor elements of driver behavior such as braking, gear shifting, acceleration and speed. Drivers can review and adjust their own data as it is downloaded from the web to a PDA.

"Our drivers have become more conscious of the way they drive," Fredrik says. "They're even starting to get competitive over who can score the highest on fuel consumption."

DB Schenker can also provide data from the system to customers who are concerned about carbon emissions. "Our customers are definitely aware of the environmental situation," Fredrik says. "They want more than speedy delivery – they want green thinking as well."

With a reliable internet connection, high-speed transmission and comprehensive HSPA or GPRS coverage around the country, each of the 3700 DB Schenker trucks uses about 10-20MB of data traffic per month. The company has requested the highest network speed available for this technology to run smoothly.

Ericsson provides the mobile broadband technology that makes solutions such as intelligent transport systems possible. And the demand for services enabled by mobile broadband will continue to grow. By 2014, we forecast that there will be 3.4 billion broadband subscribers worldwide, and that 80 percent of them will access the internet via a mobile connection.

This growth will have an impact on the environment. The use of mobile broadband and other information and communication technologies can help cut carbon emissions by up to 20 percent in areas such as commerce, energy, transport, facilities management and production.

To be concerned about carbon emissions is not just good for the environment. It’s also good for business. If a company can reduce transportation-based emissions, it can also reduce transportation costs.