The rise in demand for goods and products worldwide has pushed many businesses to go global. This requires them to develop efficient and cost-effective supply chains to enhance their market reach. This rise in demand and supply of goods also calls for an added focus towards sustainable shipping practices to ensure the environment doesn’t get affected by it all. In an effort to start a conversation on green shipping practices, this article will shed some light on the need for such practices while providing tips and techniques that will help you further the cause.
Why We Need Sustainable Shipping?
- First and foremost, sustainable shipping is the key to securing procurement contracts at some of the world’s largest retailers. This is because the added focus on green initiatives has become a major selling point for consumers worldwide. Businesses that take up the responsibility of ensuring their practices are severely harming the environment automatically take precedence over other businesses dealing with the same products and goods.
- Another reason to shift focus towards greener shipping is the high amount of waste generated simply through packaging during the constant back-and-forth of the demand and supply chain.
- The way the product is packaged and shipped also affects the customer’s brand experience which is especially true for e-retailers as the customers’ first impression is quite literally the packaging of the product and the box it came in.
- Emission rates are another point of concern for business and there are regulating authorities that also keep a check on this aspect, furthering the need for better practices.
- Lastly, sustainable shipping practices also offer financial relief. Apart from helping the business avail rebates for embracing greener practices, it can also help them avoid unnecessary fines or taxes by regulating authorities in case of violations.
How Can I Make My Shipping Practices More Sustainable?
1. Less is More
Try to reduce the amount of material that goes into your product’s packaging. Try to ascertain exactly how much packaging do you really need in order to ensure the product reaches your customer unharmed. Ask yourself questions like, “Does my customer really need a receipt?”, “Does this need a box or can it be shipped in a bag?”, “How much packaging is really necessary to get the product to the customer in one piece?”
Consciously remind yourself about the environmental impact of your choices when you are deciding how much wrapping and paperboard to use when shipping.
2. Green Inside, Green Outside
Try to use 100% recyclable materials for your packaging as far as possible. Try to avoid substances that cannot be easily recycled or are non-biodegradable, and will end up rotting away in a landfill forever. If you still have to use packaging material like bubble wrap or packing peanuts, try to re-use them as far as possible or seek out businesses that specifically process such type of waste for appropriate disposal.
3. Bulk Shipping
Every business has a different level of urgency when it comes to shipping depending o the industry they service. And while sometimes it may be necessary to send out individual packages, try to ship items in bulk. Ensure you have maximized on your freight space and weight to reduce the overall cost and emission rate. You can use truck scales or other industrial weighing scales to ascertain the exact weight of your shipment to ensure optimal utilization of your resources.
4. Review Your Supply Chain
If you are a small company that doesn’t have enough shipments to fill a cargo, then consider collaborating with another company and ship your products together or enlist the services of a shipping partner. You can aim to constantly refine your supply chain process by setting sustainability benchmarks and conducting performance audits to stay on track.
Kevin Hill heads the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.