ChainCargo’s guestblog: about Sustainable supply chains & Green Logistics

Green Logistics: promise or reality, and how to achieve it?

In our last blog post we set apart why we believe laminated packaging is here to stay, even in a sustainable world. Of course, aside from packaging there are many more aspects in which a company can be (un)sustainable. And sustainability is way to big for one company to tackle: it needs to be a supply-chain wide iniative.

Our belief in this supply-chain wide approach to sustainability is why we’ve agreed to exchange our thoughts with sustainable logistics company ChainCargo. Below you will find their blog, and on their website you will find a  (Dutch) blog written by us. Enjoy!

Changes

The past 50 years have brought so many changes in people’s lives. We went from having nothing to times when supply is bigger than demand. We were so focused on growing and producing, that we forgot the real reason why we are doing this. Somehow we have reached the point where we need to start sharing again, so we wouldn’t destroy everything that we have already created and the most important – protect our nature and environment. But where does the logistics industry stand in the sustainable world?

The logistics industry is responsible for 11% of global emissions, and 8% of it is caused by freight transport (ships, trucks, trains, planes). Since the focus on sustainability has been increasing in the past years, modern supply chain companies are forced to adopt sustainable and environmentally friendly processes to lower the ecological impact of logistics operations. But what does it take to achieve green logistics and is it even possible?

There are 4 main areas where every supply chain enterprise should focus: Supplier Management, Packaging, Operations, and Transport. Today we discuss the area, that brings the highest costs for every supply chain company – Transport.

 

Rethinking capacity

The most important factor in logistics for many years was to reduce the costs of delivery, and today we have another essential aspect – sustainability. Unfortunately, many logistics enterprises don’t invest in sustainability because it seems like an expensive task. Usually, implementing “green” practises in different areas of business will bring an up-front fee which will look costly in the short term. But sustainability doesn’t look to the short term. You get what you pay for, and adopting sustainable processes that will increase efficiency can reduce operational costs, increase revenue.

Good news that there are sustainable solutions that don’t require any investment and upfront fees. The use of existing transportation is one of the most efficient ways to reduce costs and improve the sustainability of the supply chain. Thousands of vehicles on the road are half-empty because every company wants to have their transportation. Reason? The belief that it will save costs and provide more flexibility. But does anyone think of all the licenses, maintenance and finally environment? Companies like ChainCargo which connect carriers with shippers and use ONLY existing transport movements, offer sustainable and flexible services (you can arrange transport within one hour), plus clients don’t need to worry about vehicles maintenance or high delivery costs. We want to change the way of thinking in logistics, and we believe that we can transport more volume and more efficient with the current capacity of vehicles. We do that by making available capacity visible and accessible. This is realized via ChainCargo platform, which connects the shipment to the carrier based on sustainable business rules.

Applying the right packaging.

Companies usually can lower both resource consumption and costs by modifying packaging. The journey into “greener” logistics starts with materials. Package size also impacts resource use. Most consumers who order online, receive shipments in large boxes even if the product itself is very small, which makes no sense because they can be safely shipped in smaller boxes or even envelopes. We are used to producing in bulk – same size, same design, same structure. In this way, we might use 50% more materials than we need. Companies like LPF packaging ensures that the packaging is made individually, according to your product’s design and in an environmentally friendly way.

So is it possible to achieve green logistics?

The future looks green, and it is possible to achieve green logistics, but individual efforts cannot solve complicated logistics issues. Many companies, that are competing against each other, share portions of the supply chain, so collaborating on efforts to establish sustainable practices can benefit everyone. While it may look foolish to work with competitors, combining forces on sustainability not only attracts positive public perception but also builds credibility and the most important helps to achieve goals faster and efficient.

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