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Joaquim Trecenti Barros Lordelo

Bracell Forestry Operations Senior Manager


What else is coming?

The relevance of the logistics topic for the planted forest sector is undeniable. One of the aspects that deserves to be mentioned is the cost of transporting the wood which, with a small caveat regarding variation in the distances between the forestry base and the consumer unit, can represent somewhere between 30% and 40% of the final cost of the wood delivered.

In addition to the financial factor, highlighted above, another item is the safety in transporting these products, which is primarily carried out via highways in several Brazilian states. Therefore, it is essential to mention the great evolution in the safety factor of these operations, which reflects in the reduction in the number of accidents involving vehicles in the transport of wood and in the reduction in the severity of most occurrences.

Some companies expressed these drops through real data and, in some cases, accident rates per million kilometers driven fell by more than 90%. A few months ago, I wrote another article for Revista Opinões, in which I was able to present the developments we had at Bracell with the implementation of our integrated logistics control center. I return to this topic to highlight one of the tools: the fatigue monitoring camera. This important initiative was implemented across Bracell's entire wood and cellulose transportation fleet, including its own and third-party vehicles.

As a result, the use of the camera gave us the possibility of preventively treating inappropriate behaviors while driving vehicles and also monitoring the level of fatigue or drowsiness. Just over two years after implementation, the number of events considered critical at Bracell is below 0.5% of the total indicated by the cameras' artificial intelligence. This reinforces how the use of technology, added to the processes that follow the identification of deviations, has made our operations increasingly safer.

Developments in trucks and implements have also become increasingly important, considering the increase in their power and load capacities. However, we know that there is still room for new changes and developments, but it is worth remembering that some will require technical and political effort to adjust current legislation. One of these advances would be, for example, the use of trucks with a combined total gross weight of 90 tons, as is already the case in the sugar-energy sector.

Expanding efforts in materials engineering is also among the great possibilities for advances with equipment that could be transformative for the sector. On this front, it would be possible to discuss the use of materials such as, for example, graphene, Kevlar and others in the manufacture of implements, structural reinforcements or other applications. This change would bring the sector an evolution in competitiveness, as the reduction in the weight of the equipment would lead to an increase in resistance and, consequently, greater availability of equipment and a reduction in operating costs.

Talking about competitiveness, it is important to reinforce the crucial role of long-term business sustainability and its contribution to the future of the planet. In this context, the emphasis is on fuels. In the short term, the sector has a great opportunity to evolve in energy efficiency and I'm not just referring to the concept of doing more (more mileage) with less consumption. There are other strategic decisions that the company can make that will impact its efficiency.

An example that seems simple, but that brings excellent results, as we saw when adopted at Bracell, is the correct use of tires. Yes, correct calibration has an important impact on reducing fuel consumption. With a checking routine, it is possible to ensure that the tires are always within the specifications set out by the manufacturer and obtain better performance.

Still on tires, at Bracell we also started using, in our decision-making matrix, the InMetro classification (Ordinance 379, of September 2021), that label applied by manufacturers. These stickers present on tires, as shown in the featured image, obtained from the National Tire Industry Association website, provide a series of very important information for consumers, such as the level of noise produced, behavior on roads with the presence of water and, what we now consider, the classification of fuel consumption.

In general, in the medium term, the issue of sustainability and energy efficiency brings about the need to discuss alternative fuels that can deliver a significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions levels. The topic is so relevant and complex that it requires a separate article to explore in more detail the options for vehicles powered by electricity, natural gas, biomethane, nitrogen or others.

Contributing my vision on relevant topics at industry events is a source of inspiration for us to continue focusing on continuous improvement. After all, expanding knowledge through agendas like these, which bring together the best specialists, is fundamental to increasing competitiveness in an effective and sustainable way.