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Transportation and Logistics

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 strive to conserve fuel, reduce travel time, and decrease the number of trucks on the road. 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.

    We work with a transport carrier to operate compressed natural gas trucks in two major metropolitan markets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that these trucks produce about 22% less CO2 per mile than diesel trucks. 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 2018, 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 requested as part of our TJX Logistics Service Provider Questionnaire, which goes out to all prospective U.S. carriers.

    We are proud of our collaboration with our logistics carriers and of our participation in the SmartWay program as we believe through these engagements we are able to demonstrate a shared commitment to reducing transportation-related emissions and contributing to a more efficient, productive, and sustainable freight industry.

  • 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.

    We also take steps to increase the utilization of our vehicles and help manage delivery routes more efficiently. In 2019, we increased the fleet of vehicles that run on liquefied natural gas and began trialing a longer semi-trailer, which is able to carry almost 20% more product. We also continue to use dual-fueled vehicles (liquefied petroleum gas and diesel) within our fleet to further reduce our GHG emissions. Through these efforts, we estimate that we saved over 1.5 million kilometers in travel in 2019 and reduced our carbon emissions by nearly 1,800 metric tons of CO2e.

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