Efficiency gains in road transport made through digitalisation will have an impact on diesel consumption far earlier than a shift to alternative fuels, according to participants at the transport logistic exhibition in Munich.

German logistics company DB Schenker should be able to achieve an annual efficiency gain in road transport of 5pc for the next three years at least, purely from optimising routes and vehicles, board member Christian Drenthen told Argus. The company might be able to increase road freight efficiency by up to 25pc over five years, he said. The use of algorithms and machine learning is likely to accelerate efforts to optimise the use of transport capacity and infrastructure significantly in the coming years. Efficiency gains translate into fuel savings when freight remains constant, or allow more freight to be transported with the same amount of diesel at times of growth. Europe’s largest diesel market, Germany, consumed 38.2mn t of diesel last year, around half of which was for road freight.

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