Sustainability continues to underline logistics operations and initiatives. Last year, the industry paid even more attention to reducing carbon emissions, especially for air cargo transportation, from commercial jetliners to major logistics companies. As seen with the shipping industry with IMO 2020, reducing the overall carbon footprint is the primary goal, but the logistics industry is taking a piecemeal approach to cover all the bases. Notable companies that are coming together to tackle the issue of carbon emissions in the air cargo logistics industry include DHL, Yusen Logistics, Bolloré Logistics and, of course, CEVA Logistics. In April 2021, CEVA Logistics announced its stance on the issue by joining United Airlines’ Eco-Skies Alliance as an official partner (along with the other aforementioned companies).

Known as the global leader in supply chain management, headquartered in Marseille, France, CEVA is no stranger to committing to the name of sustainability. As part of the mission of the parent company of the CMA CGM Group, CEVA is committed to acting for people, the planet and responsible trade – and that is exactly what the logistics company achieves through initiatives such as the switch to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), for example. Not only does this decision support the mission of the Group, but it also supports collaboration throughout the supply chain.

“One of the long-term benefits of SAF is that it is a real opportunity for shippers, freight forwarders and carriers to work together to improve the air cargo industry,” says Peter Penseel, Director of air freight operations at CEVA Logistics. “This type of collaboration can extend beyond SAF and environmental topics to topics such as safety. For example, we were recently the first company to receive IATA’s new CEIV Lithium certification for air transport. safety of lithium batteries, so we encourage other industry participants, whether freight forwarders, ground handlers or carriers, to support this important safety topic as well.”

CEVA mission leaders are capitalizing on what can be done now to reduce problems in the future. This proactive approach differentiates the company from its competitors while creating a competitive advantage for customers. This is one of the main drivers of the CMA CGM Group’s objective to become carbon neutral by 2050.

“The Group aims to become carbon neutral by 2050 and invests significantly in research and development to help the emergence of future energy sources and technologies to reduce the impact of transport and logistics on the planet,” adds Penseel. “Encouraging the use of SAF in air transport is a direct result of this corporate commitment. Whether or not SAF is the long-term answer in air cargo logistics, CEVA is today taking concrete action, with an eye on tomorrow’s solutions.

What some logistics organizations might misunderstand that CEVA does not understand is the critical mix of customer needs and environmental needs. And in the modern world, it seems like everyone in logistics is feeling the pressure to support sustainability more than ever.

“Reducing emissions in the supply chain requires alignment with customers,” Penseel said. “We work alongside them to offer and encourage the right products and services, including alternative fuel options. We must embark on this journey with a common vision and roadmap. To this end, we are part of the Sustainable Air Freight Alliance (SAFA), which campaigns for responsible transport. The organization is made up of shipping companies, airlines and freight forwarders who are committed to measuring and reducing their carbon dioxide emissions.

However, these changes don’t come without their own set of unique challenges. Penseel adds that the current infrastructure landscape poses specific obstacles that could potentially impede progress in the pursuit of carbon neutrality, warning that careful planning and collaboration at every stage of the shipping process is essential and should not be compromised.

As an air cargo industry, we need to be aware of SAF’s production and infrastructure capabilities,” he says. “As we increase the use of this alternative fuel, we need to ensure that we can deliver on our commitments. If the industry offers more SAF options, we need to work closely with the broader environment by upstream to ensure that the necessary supply and infrastructure will be there to meet the demand that we create as an industry.

“Estimating the carbon footprint and planning accordingly is the first step towards a more sustainable supply chain. For example, we offer an eco-calculator on our website and through our digital booking platform MyCEVA to estimate the logistical carbon footprint of a shipment by sea, air or land.

Looking to the future, CEVA has more carbon neutral tricks up its sleeve. Penseel confirmed that the organization is currently discussing additional SAF options and programs with many air carriers to address and resolve near-term environmental issues.

2022 officially welcomed the industry with CEVA taking it by the horns with the needs of customers and the environment at the forefront of its dedicated solutions. The organization closed 2021 with its latest acquisition of Ingram Micro’s Commerce & Lifestyle Services business, representing another feather in the CMA CGM Group’s hat in the areas of e-commerce planning and omnichannel, further positioning themselves as leaders in all things shipping and supporting the goal of becoming a name among the top five global players in third party logistics.

“The acquisition of Ingram Micro CLS is strategic for the CMA CGM Group,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group, in a December press release. “After completing its recovery this year, our subsidiary CEVA Logistics will accelerate its development and join the world’s top 4 in contract logistics.

Customers can continue to look forward to maximizing their opportunities by meeting the needs of their own customers while playing an active role in contributing to a cleaner, greener and more environmentally responsible way of doing business.

“We seek to help our customers make the best decisions when planning their logistics and freight transport operations to reduce environmental impact while balancing the business and time needs of their supply chain processes and of their expeditions”, concludes Penseel.

To learn more about CEVA Logistics, visit cevalogistics.com.


Peter Penseel is Chief Operating Officer at CEVA Logistics.


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