Truck Routing Software Takes Carbon Emissions Into Account
June 30, 2009 Alex Woodie
Trucking outfits that rely on ALK Technologies‘ PC*MILER truck routing software enjoyed the capability to generate routes based on one of several priorities, such as the quickest travel time, the avoidance of low-hanging bridges, or the shortest distance. Now, with the 23rd annual release of the product, ALK is giving customers another option: generating transportation routes based on the least amount of carbon emissions.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) has long been suspected of contributing to the greenhouse effect that is associated with global warming, but until recently, it hasn’t been regulated. That could soon change. Last year, the EPA added CO2 to a list of pollutants, opening the way for more regulation of the colorless, odorless gas that is the byproduct of combustion.
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would institute a “cap and trade” program for carbon emissions. If the U.S. Senate passes the bill into law later this summer, the new cap and trade program will have a huge impact on truckers–and ALK Technologies will be ready.
Last week, ALK unveiled PC*MILER 23, a major new release of the transportation planning software. With version 23, ALK added a new “intermodal analysis” feature that allows companies to compare the relative mileage, fuel consumption, and carbon emissions that would result from moving shipments by truck or by rail. If it turns out moving shipments by train results in fewer carbon emissions, PC*MILER 23 will alert you to the fact.
“ALK is pleased to be the first routing and mileage provider to make environmental impact an optional factor in daily operational choices,” said Kara Jo Witkowski, senior product manager for PC*MILER solutions at ALK. “The new features allow carriers, shippers, and 3PLs to make better multi-modal decisions.”
Other new capabilities in this release include better calculation of tolls based on truck weight (up to 136,000 pounds) and axle number (up to 14). All told, PC*MILER includes 27 discount toll programs and 68,300 unique toll paths.
This release also brings an additional 117,000 truck restriction and allowance enhancements; more than 12,500 new and updated weight constraints across 36 state and local municipalities in the U.S. and Canada; and numerous enhancements to its highway and street-level database that contain the most current map data.
PC*MILER integrates directly with i OS- and Windows-based dispatching software from TMW Systems and other vendors, and runs on i OS, Unix, Linux, and Windows operating systems. For more information, visit www.pcmiler.com.