Omron Corp., based in Japan, and IBM have partnered to provide “smart” solutions that lower energy use, reduce carbon-dioxide emissions and increase efficiency in transportation operations. The new solutions will help businesses decide which types of shipping and transportation to use and the best travel routes for reducing costs and CO2 emissions in the delivery of packages, parts, supplies and finished goods, according to the companies.
Logistics and transportation activities contribute approximately 5 percent of the 50,000 megatons of carbon-dioxide emissions generated by all human activity annually, according to a recent study from the World Economic Forum and Accenture.
The new solutions combine Omron’s sensor capabilities and experience in traffic control, vehicle weight measurement, and transportation distance and loading ratios systems with the advanced mathematical calculation technologies of IBM’s Virtual Routing Planner and Modal-Shift Transportation Planner product offerings.
The Modal-Shift Transportation Planner analyzes timetables of various shipping services, such as ship, air, train and truck, to choose the best shipping method for reducing costs and CO2 emissions, while the Virtual Routing Planner plans the best routes for trucks to use to minimize CO2 emissions.
These services will initially be available to Japanese customers primarily in the manufacturing and transportation industries. The companies estimate that these industries globally account for more than half of all the energy use and related CO2 emissions.
Earlier this year, IBM launched its Supply Chain Network Optimization Workbench, or SNOW service that helps companies analyze their supply chain logistics and suggests improvements to help them reduce CO2 emissions, fuel usage, and costs.