Landskrona is located on the west coast of Skåne, a region in the southern part of Sweden. At first glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a completely different country. Vast fields of waving grass, Hanseatic farmhouses dotting the landscape, and an accent that almost sounds foreign to all other Swedes.
For the last year, Einride and Oatly have been moving raw materials and finished goods across Skåne with connected electric trucks, coordinated by the intelligent Freight Mobility Platform. We met with Oatly at their research and production center in Landskrona to talk about how the partnership is progressing and to see what driving positive change looks like in action.
The immediate impact of electric freight
Oatly produces and ships tasty oat-based products on multiple continents, and is a driving force for sustainability in the food industry, which today contributes to about 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“We’re on a similar path as Einride, in that we drive positive change in our industry. It’s at the core of everything we do,” said Simon Broadbent, VP of Supply Chain at Oatly. “The way that we see it, we want to be able to use whatever technology is out there to minimize our impact on shipping our finished goods.”
Since operations began October 1, 2020, with just four trucks, the partnership has resulted in nearly 250,000 electric kilometers driven and saved over 207,000 kg of CO2 compared to diesel, reducing the environmental impact of Oatly’s transportation on those routes by 93.6%.
Besides the immediate effects, Einride makes transport cost-efficient. Einride’s digital freight mobility solutions are specifically designed to optimize transport flows for electric and autonomous vehicles, taking all physical conditions and routing needed into consideration with algorithmic precision. Oatly’s transport coordinator overlooks the freight operation through the Shipper app, making it seamless, traceable, and transparent.
“This kind of big, electrified installation has not been done before: deciding on where to put the chargers and how to schedule the vehicles and drivers and the best setup, and then integrating everything together with our portal to be able to monitor everything in real time, making sure that we use the resources in the best possible way,” said Tobias Willner, Head of Customer Operations at Einride.
A new way to ship, and to drive
Leaving the old transport system behind has other advantages.
”The biggest difference in driving an electric truck is that it’s quiet. You also have to think in a different way—how far you can go for example. There’s a lot more happening than just driving and filling up gas,” said Emina Nilsson, electric truck driver for Erikssons Åkeri.
At just 21 years old, Emina is one of the youngest truck drivers in Sweden. With less than 10% of truck drivers industry-wide identifying as women, it’s a profession that could certainly use better representation. Half of the truckers driving for Oatly and Einride are women, a figure that far outpaces the field.
Thankfully, new technologies like electric trucks and remote operations have proven to increase the attractiveness of trucking among a younger and more diverse population. According to our research, over half of respondents would consider a career in trucking if it could be done remotely and was good for the environment.
“To work with Einride is nice. I mean, they want something. There’s a lot of people trying things out, but if it doesn’t work on the first try, they quit. You have to solve the issue. At this, Einride is great—they only want to move forward,” said Emina.