Editor’s Note: Today’s blog comes from a guest author, Michael Gorman, who shares five different ways of going green with carbon-neutral shipping.
Global warming is affecting almost every aspect of life because of the climate repercussions caused by carbon emissions. There are various campaigns and strategies currently being implemented by different industries to curb this dilemma from causing more damage than it has already done. The logistics industry has joined this fight through efforts of reducing their carbon emissions in couriering packages that are shipped from one place to another. The companies are focusing greatly on technologies for logistics to reduce carbon emissions dramatically and contribute to the green planet drive.
How can you also join forces in this global fight against climate change? Here are 5 best ways to go green with carbon-neutral shipping.
A Guide to Optimize Final Mile
Limit Rush Orders and Returns
Customers usually want to expedite their deliveries and the logistical industry has been listening to this demand. Although it seems like the most efficient method to please customers, the environment is suffering because of this. The carbon emissions of rushing an order can tally to massive amounts each year and they continually degrade the atmosphere.
Janet Wilde, a supply chain management essay writer, provides assignment help related to white papers and research content to shipping corporations. She presents her point with an example here. Think about this, how much carbon does it require for a delivery van to veer off a well-considered route to deliver just one parcel? A small delivery van emits approximately 111g/km and if it has to travel 6 miles for just one parcel, the total carbon emissions are above 1kg of carbon. Imagine if the same process is repeated for 10 deliveries a day that puts the emissions of just one van to more than 100kg’s every day. That shows the extent of the damage caused by rush orders alone without calculating the normal route the van still has to follow.
Therefore, to support the global fight against high emissions, try to reduce rush orders if items are not necessarily needed that urgently. The same applies to returning orders too often – before making a purchase, ensure that you really do need or want the item. Returning the order just because you realized it is unneeded anymore or if it was ordered just to try it out is highly discouraged.
Use Logistical Companies That Support Carbon Emission Reduction
A lot of logistical companies have recognized the importance of reducing their carbon emissions and decided to initiate projects to flatten their negative impact.
Although that is true, some companies have not budged a bit in this fight against emissions. Avoiding using companies that do not have a clear objective of lowering their carbon emissions is the best practice for the environment. Larger companies have direct and transparent policies about their methods of reducing carbon emissions. For example, DHL has a project called GoGreen Service, which calculates the emissions needed to transport each package. DHL then calculates a fee that will be invested in carbon emission reduction and charges it on the bill of the parcel.
UPS also has a similar project where they use the weight and distance of the package to determine how much should be added on the bill. That extra fee is used to offset the carbon emissions of companies using this method and offers customers an opportunity to be hands-on in this fight. Other companies are using different approaches than this one but if a company does not add value to the environment, try by all means to avoid it.
Carbon-Neutral Shipping Options
Shipping does not only involve courier vehicles and air freight but it also entails the storing of goods while they are shipped. That makes sustainable warehousing a critical factor in choosing a logistics company you will use. There are logistical companies explicitly supporting the development and construction of environmentally friendly warehouses.
These companies should take priority when considering a shipping method because other carbon emissions are caused by maintaining and managing warehouses. You can also look at the bigger picture in terms of packaging because this also has an impact on carbon emitted from the logistics industry. In this matter, there are various carbon-neutral shipping companies that offer sustainable packaging. For example, logistical companies have opted to use recycled cardboard when shipping products.
Another assignment writing expert for shipping and logistics companies and college paper reviews suggest that some others have come up with innovative solutions such as reusable cardboard that can be used up to 14 times. On the matter of packaging, you can also use packaging that consumes less space that can allow more parcels to be shipped using fewer vehicles. That could be bags or pouches that can save space for other parcels to be packed in one vehicle.
Opt for Alternative Methods of Shipping
Larger companies or customers buying in bulk have the responsibility of choosing the best shipping methods that will suit their needs and reduce carbon emissions. There are various ways to do this, especially when shipping packages from abroad that might need to fly or be shipped by ship. Choosing between airfreight and shipping in items by sea should be done with great consideration.
There are a lot of factors to consider more than just the fuel consumption and carbon emissions created by the type of vehicle shipping the package. Those factors include the risk of receiving damaged goods or parcels that might arrive expired or unusable. Remember, disposing of unusable goods can end up creating a lot of carbon emissions. Therefore, some items might require to be brought in by air. For example, medication and other perishables and items that can be damaged using a ship should be shipped by airfreight.
While other items like construction material can be successfully brought in using maritime logistical freight solutions. You can also consider the packaging required for each mode of shipping because more plastic is used in airfreight solutions. Most parcels need to be shrink-wrapped to board a plane and this can be eliminated or reduced when using shipping containers. Although there are some common issues with shrink wrapping but they can be overcome with some care.
Using Technology to Flatten the Curve of Carbon Emissions
Amazon has pioneered in using technology to reduce carbon emissions by piloting its drone delivery system. There are a lot of emissions that result from door-to-door deliveries and simply using drones to deliver can benefit the greater good. There are other technological solutions similar to the one Amazon piloted like the use of electric cars. The same company, Amazon, also piloted a delivery system of using electric delivery vans and has found great success in reducing their carbon emissions. Other companies have also opted for solutions like this and they are the ones customers should support the most.
Some companies may not have the resources to launch such scaled operations but that try their best to lower their carbon emissions. For example, they might use extensive research to map out the best routes that will lower their fuel consumption. Companies that have clear plans and protocols to flatten the curve of carbon emissions similar to the one just mentioned should gain preference over those that do not.
The Bottom Line
Saving the environment starts with you and it is the little actions that go unnoticed that really make the difference. Following these suggestions for carbon-neutral shipping to reduce carbon emissions can go a long way into preventing further damage to the atmosphere. Try to practice these simple methods like reducing the rush orders and returns you make can help reduce carbon emissions. Also, supporting logistical companies that have systems in place to flatten the curve of carbon emissions is a great gesture to the environment.