Amazon Boosts Rail and Sea Transport, Reducing Shipping Emissions

A trying traveling fast on a track as Amazon has grown its use of rail and sea transportation in Europe by 50% in 2023

(Credit: Pixabay)

by | Dec 8, 2023

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Amazon has increased its use of rail and sea transportation by 50% in 2023, distributing products through more than 100 rail lanes and more than 300 sea routes. The change has helped reduce the e-commerce giant’s carbon emissions 50%.

The company’s networks are particularly strong in Europe, where Amazon has developed partnerships with European rail and sea carriers, including Cargo Beamer, VIIa, the Mercitalia Group, Grimaldi, Stena Line, DFDS and others. 

“By moving products by sea or rail, instead of via road by trucks, we can significantly reduce our carbon footprint,” Amazon stated in a press release. “On average, taking a rail or sea route to transport packages or inventory helps us reduce carbon emissions by almost 50%.”

To make sea and rail transportation work, Amazon uses trailers that can be transferred between ships, freight trains and trucks. Trailers are typically loaded at Amazon fulfillment centers before being taken to a sea or rail terminal, where the load travels by ship or train to another port and it is picked up by drivers.

The transportation routes are designed so the load travels the longest distances by rail or sea, reducing driving times and enabling Amazon to hire local drivers.

Amazon said rail and sea transportation is increasingly important for moving products between buildings, including its small market enterprises. According to the company, 60% of the total paid units on Amazon are from independent sellers, mostly by small and mid-sized businesses.

The news comes as the cargo ship industry is undertaking some steps to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. Recently, two ships were outfitted with sailing wings designed to save fuel through sailing power of the wind. The wings debuted earlier this year. In addition, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has a goal to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by around 2050.

The news also comes as Amazon has taken steps to expand its renewable energy portfolio, investing in more than 78 new solar and wind energy projects in 2023. Amazon has purchased more renewable energy than any other company.

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