The logistics industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and pollution.At the same time, the industry is undergoing a digital revolution, with technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things (IoT) transforming how goods are moved and managed. Understanding how digitalization can contribute to sustainability is crucial for staying ahead of the curve. Digital transformation offers solutions for optimizing routes, reducing empty miles, and improving fuel efficiency, all of which can significantly reduce the environmental impact of logistics operations. Thus, logistics companies can improve their operational efficiency, lower their effect on the environment, and meet the growing demand for sustainable business practices by using digital technologies.

The logistics and transportation industry currently accounts for slightly more than one-third of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, making it the foremost emitter in several developed nations. This proportion is continuously increasing. In 2021, the transportation sector generated 7.7 gigatonnes (Gt) of CO2, marking an 8% rise since pandemic restrictions were lifted.

Presently, global CO2 emissions stand at approximately 35 Gt per annum. Given its substantial contribution to worldwide emissions, the transportation sector holds a pivotal role in transitioning towards a decarbonized future and adapting to climate change impacts. To align with global net-zero targets, transportation must slash its emissions by roughly 20%, reducing them to under 6 Gt by 2030 to accommodate the anticipated surge in global trade demand. As per findings from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Supply Chains Initiative, freight transportation constitutes roughly 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

When factoring in warehousing operations, this percentage increases to 11% [1]. Under such conditions, the search for tools to reduce the level of emissions of logistics enterprises and their achievement of sustainable development is extremely important.

Digital transformation plays a crucial role in ensuring the sustainable development of logistics enterprises by providing innovative solutions to address various challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the industry. It is innovation driven hence leading to new business models, value chains as well as ecosystems creation.

Digital transformation enable logistics companies optimize operations, reduce waste and enhance resource utilization. Sustainable digital supply chains align with the broader understanding of how digital transformation contributes to sustainable development in logistics enterprises [2]: 

  • efficient demand and supply planning: digital technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning enable accurate demand forecasting, allowing manufacturers to optimize their production processes. By producing only what is needed, companies can minimize overproduction and reduce waste of resources, thereby lowering their environmental footprint;
  • transparency in sourcing: sustainable digital supply chains promote transparency throughout the supply chain, ensuring that suppliers engage in sustainable sourcing practices. This transparency helps to mitigate the adverse environmental impacts associated with unsustainable sourcing, such as deforestation or pollution;
  • optimization of shipping routes: digital technologies, including advanced analytics, enable the optimization of shipping routes at the local, national, and international levels. By minimizing energy consumption and reducing emissions associated with transportation, sustainable digital supply chains contribute to environmental sustainability.
  • risk management and contingency planning: digitization and sustainability practices in supply chains allow companies to better plan around existing environmental risks and impacts, such as those related to climate change. By leveraging digital tools for risk assessment and mitigation, companies can develop contingency plans to address potential disruptions and ensure continuity in operations. 

The integration of digital technologies within logistics businesses can bolster their organizational framework for sustainable development by optimizing operational processes and minimizing wastage. Through the utilization of digital technologies, logistics companies have a significant opportunity to mitigate potential pollution and actively pursue sustainable development objectives.

Various digital technologies can be employed by logistics companies, including Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), data analysis tools, image recognition technology, and dynamic transportation planning software. Enhancing efficiency, reducing resource consumption, and improving decision-making accuracy are crucial aspects achieved through the adoption of digital technologies. In particular, WMS serves as a robust and intelligent software solution, facilitating smoother warehouse processes and reducing occurrences of time loss and errors.

Additionally, data analysis tools enable managers to make informed decisions, ensuring optimal resource allocation, especially in response to varying order scales. Image recognition technology is another valuable digital tool utilized by logistics companies to maintain product quality and minimize unnecessary waste. Furthermore, transportation planning software, an intelligent solution, aids in optimizing delivery routes and reducing CO2 emissions. By embracing digitalization within logistics operations, companies can offer more sustainable solutions, ultimately lowering costs, enhancing customer satisfaction, and mitigating their carbon footprint [3].

Thus, the logistics industry faces a critical challenge: reducing its significant environmental impact while meeting growing global trade demands. Fortunately, the digital revolution offers a powerful solution. By embracing digital transformation, logistics companies can achieve a win-win scenario. They can optimize operations, reduce waste, and improve efficiency, all while significantly lowering their carbon footprint and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Digital tools like AI, big data, and IoT provide solutions for route optimization, empty mile reduction, and improved fuel efficiency. This not only benefits the environment but also leads to cost savings and a competitive edge for companies that prioritize sustainability. As the demand for sustainable practices continues to rise, logistics companies that leverage digital transformation will be well-positioned to meet customer expectations and contribute to a greener future.


Gould R. Towards a net-zero logistics sector. ISO. Retrieved from: (date of application: 02.04.2024)

Balan Sundarakani, Ioannis Manikas, & Angappa Gunasekaran. (2024). The role of digital transformation in achieving sustainable supply chain management in Industry 4.0: an editorial review perspective. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications. DOI: (date of application: 02.04.2024)

Ferk, M. (2023). Digitalization Enables Sustainable Logistics. Digitalization, Software, Sustainability, Trends. Retrieved from: (date of application: 02.04.2024)






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