Michelin : From air freight to sea freight

We have been working with Michelin for almost two years. Born from a partnership between Argon&co, Sigfox and Michelin, the tire manufacturer is one of our closest partners.

Michelin shipments moving from France to Oman were traditionally transported by air freight. The group wanted to test transfer by sea on part of its fleet. 

This use case allows seeing in a concrete and quantified way the added value for Michelin of the modal transfer.

 Also, we will see the interest of a tracking solution to overcome the problems inherent to sea freight.

What did the shift from air to sea freight bring to Michelin?


Drastically carbon footprint reduction

From France to Oman, the seaway has led to a significant reduction of carbon footprint.

We have calculated that during Michelin good transportation, the carbon footprint by air was 4200 kg/T for 5600 km. Maritime transport recorded a carbon emission of 150 kg/T for 10 000km. The modal transfer allowed to go from 42T of CO2 in the air to 1.5T for 10T of shipment.

  • 40T of CO2 saved for each Shipment



A significant cost reduction

In a very concrete way, this sea transit has allowed a drastic reduction in costs. Let’s see how.

Michelin imports about 10T of goods per container. For air freight, the price per kilo is between 1.5 and 2 euros. This amounts to about 20,000 euros for 10T per container.

By sea, the price of the container regardless of the weight is between 1500 and 2000 euros. The price per kilo is, therefore, 0.2 euros.

Please take note that these are pre-covid rates.

  • The transport by sea between France and Oman is about 10 times cheaper than by air.



What does the IoT flow tracking solution bring to Michelin?

However, we know that sea freight has some significant inconveniences depending on the customer’s needs. Time, scheduling, visibility are key elements that must and can be improved. Michelin has chosen to implement a tracking solution for its flows. Let’s see what it has provided.

  • Visibility: Complete end-to-end view of all goods flows.
  • Reliability: Data independent from shipping companies, more reliable with a high degree of granularity.
  • Exception management: Real-time data to anticipate events and react quickly in case of unforsees problems.
  • Lead time reduction: the information transmitted in transit speeds up processes and reduces lead time.
  • Better customer relationship: A transmission of the location of the goods in real time to the customer. A good way to reassure.


« Safecube’s IoT solution enabled Michelin to quickly transmit the location of the goods to our customer. This avoids the need to mandate an emergency air transport and therefore to preserve the customer relationship. « 

Frédéric Jeandin

Service & Distribution Manager - Aircraft Tyre, Michelin

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