Amazon uses Europe’s multimodal capabilities to expand the use of maritime transport across sea lanes. Thousands of truck movements between Spain and Italy have already been taken off the road.
Almost half of Amazon’s goods movements between its fulfillment centers in Italy and Spain are now carried out by sea, avoiding thousands of tons of CO₂ emissions.
Amazon operates multiple sea lanes to move inventory between the two fulfillment centers. According to Helder Velho, Vice President of Surface Transportation at Amazon in Europe: “Sea routes or Motorways of the Sea offer a more efficient and sustainable mode of transport and in some cases faster than other alternatives.”
Amazon says it’s always looking for alternative modes of transportation for deliveries and moving items between its fulfillment centers. In southern Europe, Amazon launched two sea lines to reach customers in Sardinia and Sicily in 2019. Since then, Amazon has launched a variety of sea routes between Italy and Spain and today there are already more than 170 sea routes across Europe.
This initiative is a key part of Amazon’s goal to decarbonize its operations and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the Paris Agreement. To achieve this, it has partners such as the European shipping company Grimaldi Group, which is at the forefront of sustainable maritime transport with state-of-the-art hybrid ships.
Francesco Satariano, Executive Key Account Manager of Maritime Lines of the Grimaldi Group, says: “The strategic priority for the Grimaldi Group is to operate sustainably. In recent years, the Grimaldi Group has commissioned the construction of new ships that respect the environment and most of our fleet has been modernized to reduce the environmental impact.
“We pioneered the industry by installing technology on our ships that allows us to turn off the engines when approaching ports and achieve zero emissions in port. We were also one of the first to order and receive ships prepared for the use of ammonia. We believe in this alliance of long-term partnership with Amazon as we mutually commit to reducing our environmental impact while delivering value to customers.”
Support for local SMEs
About 60% of the goods that Amazon has in its logistics network belong to independent sellers. They are small to medium-sized businesses that sell through Amazon to reach new customers outside of their home countries. In this way, Amazon benefits from its customers on the one hand by providing a larger selection of products. On the other hand, sellers on Amazon achieve a greater geographical reach with their products, which makes it easier for them to enter markets in other European countries. And all this with a more sustainable method of transport thanks to the fact that the trucks travel by boats, thus reducing their emissions.
In order for Amazon’s European customers to benefit from a large selection of products and fast and reliable delivery, Amazon analyzes which products are most frequently ordered and places these products in centers close to the customer. .
Sergio Panizza of the Genoa-based Pesto Rossi factory in Italy says: “Our family has been making pesto sauce in a small shop in Genoa since 1947 and selling it mostly locally. Our business has suffered during the pandemic so we have decided to start selling on Amazon. Since then we have grown in the number of our customers and have managed to sell our sauces to pesto fans in Spain, France and 12 other countries in Europe.
“By bringing our sauces closer to where our customers live, our products are available much faster and we benefit from more international customers.”
Spanish exports to Italy from January to August 2022 recorded €20,635.6 million, an increase of 19.4% compared to the same period in 2021, while imports increased by 24.1% to €17,708.4 million increased.