Sustainability is today’s buzzword, but is sustainable logistics something that can be applied to the logistics industry?
The answer is yes, it can.
Sustainability is all about being green. The problem is many people associate green with extra costs. But it doesn’t have to mean that. Let’s face it; you’re not going to change your fleet of vehicles to electric overnight. Instead, you can start with small steps that have a big impact on reducing your carbon footprint.
How to win at sustainable logistics
The first place you can start is with your technology.
Understanding where your vehicles are is vital, and although it doesn’t appear green, at first sight, it is. If you know where your vehicles are going, you can review their routes and identify areas for potential fuel consumption reductions. It may help you find areas where you can consolidate freight to reduce the number of journeys or find alternative modes of transport that are more efficient.
Either way, a transport management system (TMS) will give you a bird’s eye view of your current operations.
Optimise your routes
One of your biggest concerns will be the emissions from your vehicles. With a TMS on your side, you will be able to optimise your routes to reduce pollution and, in turn, reduce your fuel costs. This will also make your supply chain more efficient, removing unnecessary transport routes.
Don’t forget your warehouse
You probably wouldn’t immediately think about your warehousing when it comes to sustainability, but it does have a part to play.
When you think about owning your own versus outsourcing, you have to weigh up the costs and energy expended on your property compared to those in a shared warehouse fulfilment centre.
Having efficient procedures in place will also help your green credentials because it will reduce the number of errors that may lead to unnecessary deliveries.
The final word
Whether you call it green logistics, green transportation, sustainable shipping, or sustainable logistics, sustainability will be at the top of your customers’ wish list.
Consumers want to know they are dealing with companies that take environmental issues seriously throughout their supply chain, so it’s up to you to do your bit too.
As we mentioned earlier, there’s no need to retire all your vehicles and invest in an electric fleet overnight. All you need to do is take a few steps to show your green commitment. Small steps can lead to significant changes.
Sustainable logistics is not only a thing, but it is also here to stay.