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Searoutes carbon emissions

Charting a Greener Course: The Searoutes Journey and its Impact on Carbon Emissions Reporting in Logistics

As the world faces significant environmental hurdles to overcome in the next ten years, global supply chains specifically are the focus of various initiatives to reduce emissions—coming from regulations to customer pressure to companies simply recognizing their social responsibility.  Despite the increasing need for effective sustainability solutions, there has overall been a lack of precise and granular data that can meaningfully inform and guide sustainability efforts. Commonly-accepted average figures lack the detail required to support the procurement decisions made by companies every day.

Searoutes was created to fill this critical gap in the market. By developing a way to provide detailed, accurate carbon emissions data to the logistics industry, we’re on a mission to transform supply chains worldwide.

The Birth and Growth of Searoutes

Searoutes was founded by Dr. Pierre Garreau and Carsten Bullemer in 2019 and experienced early growth after joining the ZEBOX incubator and accelerator program. With an academic background in engineering and mathematics, Pierre’s decision to found Searoutes was driven by a desire to address two key issues—the staggering costs of fuel in the shipping industry, estimated at $3 billion a year for companies like CMA CGM, and freight transport causing 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Searoutes was created from a research and development project analyzing worldwide vessel positions. Through innovative algorithms, the team developed methods to optimize routes, which in turn would minimize CO2 emissions. At the onset, the focus was on helping fleets of vessels conserve fuel and decrease CO2 emissions. However, they soon realized that the initial target market, although impactful, was relatively small. The number of fleets worldwide is limited, with approximately 80,000 vessels spread across various ship types.

To expand their influence and contribute more effectively to reducing carbon emissions, Searoutes pivoted its approach to serve a larger demographic—shippers. This shift in focus enabled Searoutes to assist in reducing CO2 emissions within the complex networks of these global supply chains. The mission now extends beyond just the movement of vessels. It encompasses reducing the carbon footprint of transporting containers through all modes, offering a more holistic solution for their larger target audience.

The Development of Searoutes’ API

Global logistics and supply chain company CEVA Logistics began working with Searoutes because of a client struggling to calculate their Scope 3 carbon emissions, those associated with freight transport activities. Searoutes ran several workshops to help this client understand and reduce their emissions.

Realizing that their expertise could benefit a broader range of clients, Searoutes began to work on a fully featured API solution. This solution connected with all aspects of CEVA’s operations, from e-commerce and internal systems to the division providing client consulting. It allowed them to compute the CO2 footprint of all shipments across various modes of transport.

Searoutes’ Mission and Solutions

With the APIs Searoutes has built, we’re on a mission to revolutionize the supply chain industry. The goal is to decrease the carbon footprint attributed to global transportation while allowing shippers to make decisions that benefit their business in other ways, too—like cost savings—all by providing them with granular data that provides true clarity on the effects of their decisions.

Searoutes recognizes that the key to meaningful support in reducing carbon emissions is a data-driven approach that leverages advanced technology. Connecting emissions tracking to route planning capabilities, Searoutes gives shippers the detailed data, down to the specific journey, that they need to reduce carbon emissions with better procurement decisions. They can measure and mitigate the environmental impact of every shipment by getting data and clarity where it was previously lacking and transform their supply chains to be more sustainable, based on greater visibility and control.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint – Where to Start

Now is the time for companies to establish sustainability initiatives for their supply chains. These initiatives bring the benefit of a positive environmental impact, first and foremost, but secondarily, a competitive edge, allowing them to meet the increasing demand for responsible business practices as well as the potential for advantages of more efficient supply chains.

Where can companies start? Supply chain-wide, there are many opportunities, and each of the following should be considered for a thorough and effective approach.

  • Suppliers — Working with suppliers that value sustainability and have a smaller carbon footprint.
  • Product design — Designing products that require less energy to manufacture and are made for longevity.
  • Transportation and logistics — Implementing efficient logistics strategies, including optimizing routes or using fuel-efficient vehicles.
  • Energy efficiency — Using energy-efficient equipment in manufacturing and other processes.
  • Waste and recycling — Implementing strategies that minimize waste and adopting a circular economy model.
  • Carbon offsetting — Investing in projects to compensate for emissions that cannot be eliminated.

For transportation and logistics specifically, we can break this down into three parts:

  • Optimizing routes — Using tools and algorithms to optimize the routing of vehicles, the distance traveled, and the resulting carbon emissions.
  • Using fuel-efficient vehicles — Choosing more fuel-efficient vehicles or those powered by alternative energy sources, such as electric or hydrogen.
  • Optimizing mode decisions — Strategically using a combination of transport modes—like ships, trains, and trucks—to reduce carbon emissions.

These three opportunities are where Searoutes serves its clients. With granular carbon emissions data on past activity and available procurement options to choose from, companies can clearly see where their decisions can impact their emissions progress.

The Role of an Advanced Methodology

None of what Searoutes does would be possible without the attention we give to the quality of data and technology. It is not enough to have averages; data must be accurate and precise for the specific shipment journey. Otherwise, there is a risk of procurement managers believing they are making greener decisions, but the data methodology cannot detect any change or reflect this from a reporting standpoint. Searoutes uses a modeled methodology, which brings high accuracy and precision versus default data.

Searoutes also factors in the valuable data of risk profiles. With the numerous variables of ocean freight that affect carbon emissions, like different vessels and services, a range of possible carbon emissions come with choosing a specific carrier. This is not unlike risk metrics in a financial portfolio, where there are varying averages and volatilities.

Understanding these profiles helps procurement managers make informed decisions, as they can select services with the least emission volatility and low emission levels. However, realistically, the decision-making process also involves considerations of cost and speed. Data on emissions, costs, and speed together can reveal balanced options, and in some cases, carriers with lower emissions may also provide faster transit times.

Just like in portfolio management, comprehensive data is essential for informed decisions in procurement due to the inherent variability in carbon emissions. Searoutes’ model accounts for this variance to help companies create truly effective reduction strategies.

We’re Only Getting Started

This year, we’ve grown our API solutions from processing 2 million to 4 million per month over just four months. Also this year, Searoutes was named among the top 70 climate tech companies by ClimateHack. Even with the progress made so far, Searoutes’ focus is on the future.

We aim to continue our growth and innovation trajectory as we expand our reach to help more companies reduce their carbon footprints. We’re continuing to partner with shippers and logistics providers interested in helping their customers gain control of their emissions. Ultimately, it’s about contributing in meaningful and quantifiable ways to global efforts toward a greener, more sustainable future.

Partner with Searoutes for Carbon Emissions Data and Reporting Clarity

Searoutes has grown through our innovative approach and commitment to quality data and reporting for logistics sustainability, making it easier than ever for companies to lower their supply chain carbon emissions. To learn more about the advantage of Searoutes’ solutions on your side, reach out to us today to book a demo.

Carbon Emissions Reporting in Logistics