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Breakthrough is a strategic transportation partner empowering shippers with data, technology, and market knowledge to reduce cost, create fair partnerships, and improve transportation network efficiency and sustainability.
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A Holistic Approach to Transportation Management
Breakthrough shippers represent some of the most innovative, expansive, and influential transportation networks in North America. Powered by our clients' data, insights, and experiences, we design and maintain comprehensive network strategies as dynamic as the market you ship in. The value of a Breakthrough partnership is clear.
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You trust them emphatically, because of the sheer amount of information we give them and things that they have at their fingertips. They’re the kind of partner you want to have.
Sr. Director of Transportation
Transportation Solutions for Shippers
Breakthrough offers a suite of strategic and operational services in the FELIX platform, all designed with accuracy, transparency, and fairness in mind.
Optimize your transportation network using strategic recommendations derived from real-time performance metrics.
A Strategic Platform For Contract Freight
Meet FELIX—Breakthrough’s strategic transportation platform that uses an unbiased industry view and pure dataset to design and maintain better contract freight partnerships for the world’s leading shippers.
The Latest From the Breakthrough Blog
Check out our blog for updates about trends in the transportation industry, fuel management, and supply chain transportation optimization.
Sustainability & Tech
July 20, 2022
Serious About Reducing Your Transportation Emissions? Ask Yourself These 3 Critical Questions
Shippers have historically looked at three variables when designing transportation goals: cost, carrier capacity, and service. In recent years, sustainability has emerged as a fourth pillar in shippers’ business strategy as organizations set their sights on achieving net-zero carbon emissions.
But despite initial excitement around net-zeo initiatives, many shippers aren’t moving the needle on scope 3 sustainability goals. Shippers often overlook scope 3 transportation emissions reduction when designing sustainability KPIs — even though scope 3 emissions typically comprise 80–90% of shippers’ entire carbon footprint.
While measuring and reducing scope 3 transportation emissions can be overwhelming, setting reduction targets for these emissions is critical in achieving net-zero status across organizations. If shippers want to reduce their carbon footprint, they must make emissions reduction strides beyond scopes 1 and 2.
It’s time for shippers to do more than simply express a desire for sustainability progress — and address the financial and organizational barriers that block their emissions reduction actions.
Organizational roadblocks to sustainability progress
As organizations prioritize cost, carrier capacity, and service in business decision-making, sustainability initiatives are often treated as optional, short-term projects instead of business imperatives. Sustainable alternatives may be considered if they don’t require additional costs — but they’re typically confined to shorter, project-based tasks that don’t involve long-term company resources.
While short-term projects may seem more doable for busy teams, sustainability bursts don’t ensure lasting progress within net-zero emissions frameworks. If shippers continue to invest only in short-term sustainability actions, they can’t participate in streamlined processes for emissions reduction decision-making over time — and they won’t be able to infuse sustainability into larger business conversations about cost, capacity, and service. This will likely result in missed opportunities for making progress toward net-zero initiatives.
Lack of external and internal communication can further exacerbate organizational roadblocks. When transportation and sustainability teams fail to collaborate, it’s difficult to clearly delineate sustainability tasks and set specific emissions reduction KPIs. And without internal specificity and alignment, organizations will struggle to build strategic, service-based partnerships with external stakeholders.
Strong external partnerships are critical in gathering scope 3 emissions data and quantifying transportation emissions output. Without these highly collaborative and strategic relationships, shippers lack comprehensive visibility into their entire emissions footprint, and transportation emissions reduction remains static. If shippers are serious about making a real sustainability impact and reducing their carbon footprint, they must prioritize internal and external collaboration — and boost stakeholder engagement.
3 critical sustainability questions to ask yourself
Shippers that are serious about reducing their transportation emissions must acknowledge the organizational and financial roadblocks that stand in their way. As you analyze your organization’s net-zero initiatives and sustainability decision-making, here are 3 critical questions to ask yourself.
How am I advancing sustainability as a leader within my organization?
Do I bring opportunities to senior leadership for making progress toward sustainable development goals, and do I identify strategic disconnects in decision-making?
How am I navigating a new sustainability space where there aren’t set processes and dedicated funding?
After answering these questions, connect with your team and explore how you can refine organizational processes to move the needle on scope 3 transportation emissions reduction.
CleanMile enables real progress toward transportation emissions reduction
Reducing transportation emissions can be the key ingredient for making real progress on sustainability throughout your organization. CleanMile, Breakthrough’s transportation emissions management solution, helps you achieve consistent progress by enabling ongoing emissions tracking and identifying actionable recommendations. With CleanMile, you gain a clear picture of your network’s carbon footprint and can take steps toward a more sustainable future.
Schedule a demo of CleanMile today.
Sustainability & Tech
July 15, 2022
5 Steps Toward Net-Zero Carbon Emissions
Achieving net-zero carbon emissions is the central sustainability goal for organizations around the globe over the next several decades. But as shippers develop sustainability initiatives and identify areas for emissions reduction efforts, they often overlook a critical emissions contributor: their transportation network.
While many organizations have already made progress in reducing scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, there is more work to be done toward achieving overall value chain emissions. Scope 3 emissions comprise around 90% of companies’ total carbon output, and transportation emissions are one of the most consistent and significant contributors across industries. Because scope 3 emissions are generated outside of organizations’ own infrastructure, shippers usually lack direct visibility into sources and output levels. This makes scope 3 emissions difficult to measure and analyze. Along with a general hesitancy to fund scope 3 sustainability initiatives, these roadblocks prevent real progress toward emissions reduction KPIs.
But reducing scope 3 transportation and supply chain emissions makes a substantial impact on organizations’ overall emissions footprint — and contributes to the health of the planet. In 2019, the transportation sector became the largest emitter of GHG emissions in the United States. Scope 3 transportation emissions are critical to moving the needle on holistic emissions reduction initiatives, and measuring and analyzing scope 3 transportation emissions lays the groundwork for achieving net-zero emissions across operations.
The challenges of measuring scope 3 transportation emissions
Transportation emissions typically comprise 5–19% of an organization’s disclosed scope 3 output. Because these emissions contribute to a significant piece of the scope 3 pie, they offer huge reduction opportunities for transportation professionals and shippers. A majority of the data that shippers need to analyze transportation lifecycle emissions lies with outside carriers and partners, and it can be complex and time-consuming to gather information across multiple data systems. But prioritizing clear communication standards can make data collection more manageable.
Further, net-zero emissions frameworks frequently change as measurement technologies and government regulations evolve. Internal teams that don’t embrace flexibility as a cornerstone of their reduction strategies will struggle to adapt to changing standards and experience setbacks on their journey. Comprehensive data collection can also prove challenging when there isn’t strong internal communication around implementing and monitoring sustainability KPIs — and when teams lack transparency on individual responsibilities for emissions reduction actions. With a flexible approach and clearly delineated tasks, reducing scope 3 transportation emissions is much more manageable.
If shippers can successfully navigate data collection and identify actionable recommendations, they can make real progress toward sustainability targets — and will likely correct operational inefficiencies along the way. Analyzing scope 3 transportation emissions can reveal needed improvements in transportation networks regarding carrier performance, modes of transportation, and fuel costs. This provides an opportunity to strengthen supply chain networks and build more robust carrier partnerships — ultimately enabling cost and logistics optimization.
5 steps for reducing your transportation emissions
As you begin tracking your scope 3 emissions footprint, here are 5 steps to understanding and reducing your transportation emissions — and ultimately moving closer to your net-zero emissions target.
Establish your scope 3 emissions baseline. Although a majority of the data needed to understand your scope 3 emissions can be collected from outside partners, the data you have in-house is also useful — and it’s likely more abundant than you may think. Perform a thorough inventory of your in-house data, and use daily load and freight information to establish your scope 3 transportation emissions baseline.
Get granular with your emissions footprint. As you begin to gain a clearer picture of your lifecycle emissions footprint, take a granular look at which emissions generation activities are the result of specific organizational decisions. Clarifying the root cause of emissions output will enable more accurate recommendations from outside partners, and it will help flag operational areas that require further emissions analysis.
Establish incremental KPIs. As you develop your emissions reduction plan, it’s important to establish clear and manageable KPIs. Identify specific elements in your carbon footprint for emissions reduction, and ensure that data collection and measurement methodologies are doable. When in doubt, start with incremental initiatives that build toward larger emissions reduction projects.
Prioritize internal and external communication. Successful scope 3 emissions reduction requires transparency and collaboration among internal teams and external partners. Whether within your organization or among carriers and external stakeholders, communicate specific tasks to ensure accurate emissions measurement and analysis.
Leverage strategic partnerships. Robust partnerships will help you make meaningful progress toward your net-zero emissions target. Select a strategic partner with the technology and expertise to provide recommendations unique to your transportation network. A strategic partner can also guide you through obstacles and alert you of environmental policy changes.
Need help understanding your scope 3 transportation emissions footprint?
To learn more about developing your scope 3 emissions reduction plan and achieving net-zero carbon emissions, schedule a demo of CleanMile — our transportation emissions management solution.
June 30, 2022
DOE Index Impacted by Technical Issues | Advisor Pulse
July 7, 2022 – Update
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published the U.S. national and regional average on-highway diesel prices report, which includes the DOE index. The publication included the backdated diesel price data for June 20, June 27, and July 4, 2022. This ends the three-week streak of shippers, who are not on Fuel Recovery, using obsolete data. Read the entire press release.
DOE Index Fluctuation During the Server Issue
June 29, 2022 – Update
The EIA has begun releasing some data products but has stated they will not be able to release the national or regional on-highway diesel prices this week. These prices inform the DOE index. The EIA is working diligently to restore systems. Read the entire press release.
June 27, 2022 - Original Post
The EIA discovered a voltage irregularity on Friday, June 17, and the issue has not been resolved. The EIA has replaced equipment and is in the process of transferring data from backup systems to the new servers. They did not release a timeline of when they expect to backdate reports and fully resume operations. Read the entire press release.
For shippers and carriers who rely on the DOE index (DOE), it creates an interesting dynamic of how to calculate base rates and fuel surcharges. The DOE is one of the many metrics included in the Gasoline and Diesel Fuel Update calculated weekly. With fuel costs recently becoming the number one input cost of moving freight and the fluctuation in the market, the DOE not being published is a significant event in transportation network strategies. Shippers can either choose to wait until the report is backdated, use the most recent number published, or move to a market-based approach that does not use the DOE.
For a market-based approach, consider Breakthrough’s Fuel Recovery solution.
Breakthrough will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates upon release to this blog.
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