New Smart Freight Procurement Questionnaire supports companies to make decarbonization matter

Amsterdam, 13 May 2020 – Today, Smart Freight Centre released the Smart Freight Procurement (SFP) Questionnaire. Buyers of freight and logistics services can use this tool during the tender process to assess suppliers for their commitment to decarbonization — and their ability to deliver on that commitment.

The world’s freight emissions will double between now and 2050, from 2.9 billion to 6.2 billion tonnes CO2 according to the International Transport Forum. We need a strong market signal demanding low carbon freight. The SFP Questionnaire can assist buyers in sending this signal and making decarbonization matter.

“The SFP Questionnaire provides both insightful and practical elements that Heineken will leverage in upcoming Freight Source-to-Contract processes” confirms Mike Borst, Global Category Buyer Logistics at HEINEKEN.
The SFP Questionnaire accompanies the Smart Freight Procurement Guidelines and helps the industry address a common challenge. Buyers are often motivated to include decarbonization efforts in their procurement decisions. But despite their expertise and in-house tools, they are unsure how to assess the performance of their logistics service providers (LSPs) and carriers in this area. As a result, LSPs and carriers are confronted with an increasing number of non-transparent, non-standardized questionnaires. These create an administrative burden that often has no positive impact on the procurement process.

To overcome this problem, Smart Freight Centre has provided a set of robust questions, designed to be meaningful for the buyer, while being clear and practical for the supplier.

“We receive many questions on our sustainability efforts which is a great signal. The bandwidth and complexity of questions can be a challenge. The SFP Questionnaire is a practical and actionable collection of questions on transport decarbonization and we encourage our customers to use it. This standardized approach will help to simplify RFI/Qs and underlines in the same time the commitment of all market players involved to focus on decarbonization measures.” states Kathrin Brost, Vice President and Global Head of GoGreen, DHL Global Forwarding.

To make this tool as useful as possible, Smart Freight Centre and the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) cooperated with more than a dozen shippers, LSPs and carriers. The result is a questionnaire that covers all freight modes and which companies of all sizes, worldwide, can use to procure sustainable logistics services.

“We are always happy to answer relevant and straightforward questions. The questions included in the SFP Questionnaire will enable our customers to ask exactly these kinds of questions,” says Simone Ziegler, Sustainability Manager at Hapag-Lloyd. “What’s more, Hapag-Lloyd is also planning to use some of these questions in our own procurement processes.

The SFP Questionnaire includes a manual that not only provides crucial insights and information to the buyer, it also includes clear and helpful guidance to assist the supplier in the response process.

“The topic of decarbonization is so complex that often it is hard for stakeholders to understand the larger context. The manual is a great addition to the SFP Questionnaire as it explains the key points of the topic in a practical manner and gives meaningful insights for the buyer as well as the supplier” concludes Lindsay Zingg, Senior Director Group Sustainability at DSV-Panalpina.

This project complements the Clean Cargo Sustainable Freight Procurement Framework and the development of the Clean Cargo Supplier Index.

The SFP Questionnaire is available for download here.

For information on other ongoing GLEC projects, go to: GLEC projects.
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Smart Freight Centre's vision is an efficient and zero-emissions global freight and logistics sector. Our role is to guide companies on their journey, and one way we do this is through training.