Tag Archives: green logistics

What is Green Logistics?

Today, brand image plays a noble role in a company’s presence. So, it is crucial for companies to move from the traditional corporate model to a sustainability-focused business model. As companies aim to be more customer-oriented, there is a need to respond to your audience’s wants and needs. Customers become more interested not only in your product, but in your company’s philosophy, values, and concerns. It is essential for companies to help the surrounding environment and put in an effort to help combat the world’s global issues in any way that they can. One of the industries main concerns is green logistics – a trend that became extremely widespread in recent time.

What is green logistics?

Green logistics includes a company’s effort of lowering emissions, implementing more sustainable operations processes and reducing environmental pollution. Also, there is a variety of solutions that companies can apply to be greener, from simple to very advanced, progressive actions. The environmental issues in the world are only getting worse. So, it is now more important than ever for companies to get involved.

How green logistics can reduce your supply chain costs?what is green logistics

An eco-friendly strategy can allow a company to remain focused on bringing in profit while helping the environment. A sustainability approach can help companies have better brand representation and fewer expenses. Integrating current processes and strategies to be more “green” and environmentally friendly can help companies increase efficiency and possibly decrease costs. A great example of how companies can join green initiatives is our partnership with SmartWay Transport program.

Pool distribution

Pool distribution helps reduce the wasted use of trucks and helps save costs. Pooling means consolidation of shipments from a single shipper that is collected altogether and then dropped off at one point (normally at the shipper’s distribution center). Benefits of using such an approach are evident. Gathering shipments with the same route let you save costs on fuel. Additionally, it can help reduce human labor expenses, and efficiently use truck capacity.

Optimize packaging materials

One of the best ways to make shipments more “eco-friendly” is picking recyclable packaging materials. However, the point is not only in the package itself but in the way you use it. Optimizing the way shipments are packed is a great consideration not only for the environment but for a company’s budget as well.

Implementing energy management systems

An energy management system is a set of tools for tracking, control, and optimization of the generation and use of energy. Such solutions work best for warehouses and can significantly reduce the expenses on transmission systems performance.

Efficient use of warehouse spaces

People often associate pollution and inefficient use of resources with trucks, but things such as warehouse space management play an influential role in environmental awareness as well. The point of optimizing warehouses is using less capacity, packaging materials, and maintenance resources for the same amount of assets. The benefits of optimizing warehouses help companies save costs on electricity, create more space for new items, and have better management.

Whether you are taking small steps forward a greener policy or planning major changes, green logistics is a successful decision. Green logistics work to improve your brand ideology and eliminate waste from your companies supply chain.

4 Tips to become an Eco-Friendly Shipper

The circulation of goods is a vital part of our lives, even if we don’t realize it. If your job is logistics-related – you know how much freight is moving across the globe on a daily basis. The environmental impact cannot be underestimated. Getting rid of emissions and pollution entirely will take some time and technological break-through. To support the green initiative, you can become an eco-friendly shipper.

However, shippers can do small things to contribute to the greener transportation industry.

How can you become an eco-friendly shipper?

Use recycled products

eco-friendly shipper

If you are using boxes – target environmentally friendly suppliers. There are a variety of certifications for the eco-friendly packaging. It will usually indicate the recycled content and ensure that no chemicals (e.g.. ink) which might be harmful to the environment have been used.

One setback to this approach is the slight increase in cost. Certified eco-friendly boxes tend to be about 1/3 more expensive than the uncertified ones. This boils down to a company’s core values – save the environment or save a few bucks?

Use the space efficiently

Efficiency is key. Make sure to pack the product as efficiently as possible.

This will save the materials and free up more room on the truck or any other mode of transportation giving you an opportunity to ship more in one go. If possible, combining as much product as possible into one load is worth considering from both eco-friendly and cost-efficient perspectives.

Consider alternative transportation modes

There is no perfect transportation mode at this point, but if multiple shippers switch to a greener mode of transportation, even on just a few loads, it will make a difference on a bigger scale.

Rail is one option to keep in mind – we have covered a few reasons to consider rail for your shipping in one of the previous loads. Not every load is suitable for rail, but for certain loads, it will be beneficial not only from the eco-friendly shipper perspective.

Ensure an efficient supply chain

Again, efficiency is key. Running your supply chain efficiency is one of the critical contributing factors.

Making the most out of each move and managing your reverse logistics properly will not only reduce your environmental impact but will also cut your costs and boost your service level.

These tips are not the end all be all for green transportation, but every action to reduce the environmental impact helps. If even a small amount of companies make these small adjustments, the joint effort will make a difference.

Continue reading: 5 Ways Shippers are Affected by Green Transportation Regulation, The EPSs Green Transportation Initiative 

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5 Effects of Green Shipping Regulations

Medium- and heavy-duty trucks move about 70% of America’s freight. These vehicles make up about 5% of traffic and contribute 20% ofgreen-sustainability.jpg greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and oil consumption in the transportation sector. This makes trucking firms a prime target for green initiatives. In the past few years, the government has created regulations to reduce GHG emissions and support green shipping.

High-Level Regulations

In 2015, the EPA and the NHTSA released an emissions and fuel consumption reduction plan in response to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. This plan consists of 2 phases.

Phase 1 targets truck engines and emissions in model years 2014 to 2018. This part of the program has been a success, cutting carbon emissions and reducing petroleum use. Phase 2 takes effect beginning with the model year 2021 (2018 for trailers) until the model year 2027 trucks and expands the plan’s scope to include trailers and glider vehicles.

Phase 2 is estimated to reduce GHG emissions by 1 billion metric tons, save 75 billion gallons of fuel and save vehicle owners $170 billion over the vehicle’s lifetime. Whether you believe these numbers to be optimistic or not, shippers need to pay attention to these regulations as they will have a profound impact on the transportation industry.

Regulations that impact trucking companies will inevitably impact shippers’ transportation costs, operations, and strategy.

Here are 5 reasons why shippers should pay attention to GHG trucking regulations:

Fuel Costs

Fuel comprises a major portion of operating costs for trucking companies. The EPA estimates the costs of Phase 2 vehicles, due to their improved fuel economy, will be recouped by vehicle-owners within two years. This means smaller, lower risk investments and big fuel savings for trucking companies. Improved fuel economy means reduced transportation spend for shippers.

Carbon Taxes

New, fuel-efficient vehicles will emit less GHGs than current vehicles, which will lead to further savings for carriers and for shippers. Carbon taxes are already being implemented in most major countries as well as in parts of the U.S. They are slowly gaining popularity for their effectiveness. Consequently, the entire fuel-intensive trucking industry will be taxed for carbon output in the near future. Presumably, phase 2 trucks will reduce emissions and help shippers avoid inflated transportation costs.

Freight Flow

Fuel-efficient vehicles and aerodynamic trailers stop less for fuel, which increases the speed of transport. Also, these vehicles are more reliable than existing equipment, which means fewer break-downs, service requirements and overall disruptions for carriers. Shippers will get their freight moving faster and more reliably. Otherwise, if new equipment investment proves to be a heavy burden for carriers, or if they’re hit unpredictably hard by carbon taxes – rail transport would become much more common because it is typically less expensive and more fuel efficient.

Equipment Investments

Phase 1 and Phase 2 significantly impact the timing of equipment investments for carriers. Whether they are financially ready to invest or not, they have to buy new trucks and trailers to meet government standards or face harsh consequences. The investment in Phase 2 vehicles could potentially provide great benefits. However, the investment itself could cause undue strain on profit margins for trucking companies. It’s impossible to tell what economic conditions will be like. So, carriers could feel the need to raise costs to keep profits steady, which would lead to higher costs for shippers.

Consumer Approval

Demanding consumers want their products fast, cheap and they want to receive them in a responsible way. Sustainability in the supply chain is important for consumer approval. As a shipper, you hold responsibility for being a high emitter of carbon and consumer of fuel. Approval from the end consumer can greatly affect the bottom line.

The potential benefits of the EPA and NHTSA’s Phase 2 green shipping regulations are undeniable. However, the benefits won’t be immediate, and carriers will have to take a financial leap to meet the standards. Ultimately, the cost savings and environmental benefits should quickly outweigh the downsides of the regulations. But, either way, shippers will feel trucking regulations too. Finally, green shipping definitely has a future.

Keep reading: Market Update: 2016 – 2017 Trucking Regulations May Aggravate Economic Trends.

The EPAs Green Transportation Initiative

green transportationThe SmartWay Transport Partnership, launched in 2004, is an innovative green transportation initiative between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight industry, designed to reduce greenhouse gases, non-renewable resource consumption, and transportation costs.

The program is an initiative to voluntarily reduce environmental impacts from freight transportation. Participating companies, with the help of SmartWay, use EPA-tested tools to assess their current freight operations and identify technologies and strategies to reduce their carbon emissions.

What does the SmartWay do?

SmartWay partners demonstrate to customers, clients, and investors that they are taking responsibility for their emissions. Also, they are committed to corporate responsibility, sustainable business practices and reducing their carbon footprint.

Since 2004, SmartWay Transport Partners have:

  • Saved $16.8 billion dollars in fuel costs
  • Saved 120.7 million barrels of oil (the equivalent of taking over 10 million cars off the road for an entire year)
  • Reduced CO2 emissions by 51.6 million metric tons
  • Reduced NOx emissions by 738,000 tons
  • Eliminated 37,000 tons of particulate matter

Carriers, shippers and 3PLs have a lot to gain from joining the SmartWay Partnership.  Participants not only reduce their environmental impact but save money on transportation while doing so.  Additionally, program-qualified tractor trailers can save between 2,000 and 4,000 gallons of diesel per year.

How can you support green transportation initiatives?

Buyers and consumers are taking environmental impact into consideration when purchasing goods.  People notice when a company starts to get serious about “Green” initiatives, especially in a pollution-heavy industry like transportation.  A company that reduces its carbon footprint shows that they care about the community they are involved in and will take great lengths to satisfy customer desires.

PLS contributes to SmartWay’s goal of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and non-renewable resource consumption. Also, we accomplish this goal by working directly with our freight carriers to consistently improve their environmental performance.

We believe it is our social responsibility to help reduce transportation pollution by initiating conscientious practices with our business partners through green transportation. Finally, it is our goal every day to help our customers achieve the most cost and fuel effective methods for moving their products.

Continue Reading, “Supply Chain Disruption – 3 Future Solutions”