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Transportation and Logistics

To support our large, international business, our Logistics teams worldwide seek out strategies and technology solutions that can help us increase the efficiency of our transportation operations. We are constantly striving to conserve fuel, reduce travel time, and decrease the number of trucks on the road. To this end we use a variety of strategies and technologies to support this goal, for example: using modeling software to improve the efficiency of our store delivery network, increasing utilization of trailer space, and testing new alternative fuel vehicles. Additionally we work with transport partners through programs like SmartWay and FleetSmart in Canada and the U.S., and in Europe, we directly collaborate with carriers to increase fleet efficiency.

  • U.S. Highlights

    The use of intermodal1 for shipping merchandise is one of the key ways that we have been able to lessen the impacts of transportation-related emissions. Intermodal is a more fuel-efficient alternative than trucking alone, and we intend to use this greener transportation alternative where it makes business sense for us as it reduces both our costs and logistics-related GHG emissions.

    In addition to using intermodal, we have opened service centers that are smaller than distribution centers. They are located closer to store "clusters" and designed to improve the efficiency of our store delivery process. We also utilize these service centers to co-locate our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs) and maximize our delivery trucks’ utilization by backhauling recyclable materials like cardboard and plastic from our stores to the ARRCs.

    Since 2013, we have been working with one of our transport carriers to operate compressed natural gas trucks in two major metropolitan markets. Since the program began, we have moved 2.8 million miles of freight on CNG vehicles. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that these trucks produce about 22% less CO2 per mile than diesel trucks. As a result, we estimate that we have reduced our CO2 emissions by more than 300 metric tons annually. We are pleased with the success of this program and continue to test other efficient methods of delivering merchandise to our stores.

    We are a member of the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. This program is a collaborative effort between shippers, truckers, and the EPA to find innovative ways to reduce both fuel consumption and GHG emissions. As a SmartWay shipper, TJX is committed to using SmartWay-certified transport carriers. We require that new U.S. carriers are SmartWay certified. In 2017, the most recent year for which we have data available, 100% of TJX's U.S. land transportation mileage was with SmartWay-certified carriers. SmartWay scores are now included in our TJX Logistics Service Provider Questionnaire, which goes out to all prospective U.S. carriers.

  • Canada Highlights

    In Canada, the majority of our carriers are Fleet Smart or SmartWay approved. (Fleet Smart is the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. SmartWay program.) Since 2016, a significant portion of our Canadian carrier spend was with either Fleet Smart or SmartWay carriers. We are increasing our engagement with our transportation and logistics carriers on environmental sustainability topics and have added environmental sustainability questions into select logistics bids. We are also engaging in discussions with our logistics partners during business review meetings.

    In 2016, we began working with a third-party distribution center in Delta, British Columbia. The 450,000 square-foot facility was strategically positioned to support stores in western Canada to substantially reduce the miles needed to ship products to our stores. In fact, we estimate that we have reduced shipping by over 1.3 million miles per year!

  • Europe Highlights

    In the U.K. and Ireland, where we directly manage our logistics, we believe we are at the forefront of innovation in our logistics fleet. We collaborate with our transport providers and incorporate a "green" clause in our logistics agreements, which covers both trucking and store delivery vehicles and commits both parties to achieving key environmental goals. Together with our partners, we continually work on new ideas to increase fuel efficiency and reduce costs, thereby minimizing the impact of our vehicles on the environment. In fact, we estimate that we saved over 1.8 million kilometers of truck travel over 2018 by being more efficient.

    Through our logistics partners, we work with trailer manufacturers to develop innovative designs for our vehicles. Our fleet is now comprised of newer lifting deck trailers built for T.K. Maxx, which represent the latest in trailer solutions and offer better durability, more cubic space, and aerodynamic profiling, which create less drag. Telematics systems in our trucks along with driver education helps optimize driving habits to reduce fuel costs, improve safety, and ensure efficient routes, which translates to less fuel and fewer emissions. We are also using low-rolling resistance tires on new double deck trailers. In addition to our existing fleet enhancements, we work with our logistics partners to pilot hybrid vehicles, and we continue to leverage technology and design to improve logistics efficiency.

    We take steps to increase the utilization of our vehicles and to help manage delivery routes more efficiently. In 2018, we invested in alternative fuel trucks that use liquefied natural gas, giving us a savings of 20% in carbon emissions annually versus a standard diesel powered vehicle. We also continue to utilize dual-fueled vehicles (liquefied petroleum gas and diesel) within our fleet to further reduce our GHG emissions.

    We also collaborate with other retailers in the U.K. to share capacity on some of our delivery routes. This collaborative approach can eliminate the need for multiple, parallel trips to the same location, helping to further reduce GHG emissions.

    In mainland Europe, we continue to work with our logistics providers to introduce a new double deck trailer for use across other parts of Europe. We are currently trialing two double deck trailers for transport of products between Poland and Germany. These trailers are designed to increase cubic capacity and deliver improved aerodynamics.

    Altogether, we estimate that our emissions reductions from our European logistics initiatives was 2,300 metric tons of CO2e.

1Transportation involving more than one form of carrier during a single journey.