The carbon footprint of international logistics is a significant concern for companies. To reduce this environmental impact, it is necessary to adopt eco-friendly shipping practices that will help cut down on carbon dioxide emissions and other harmful gasses produced by shipping trucks and ships. In this post, with the expertise of First Mile, we will discuss some strategies that can help you reduce your carbon footprint in logistics:
Optimize Route Planning
To reduce your carbon footprint, you should optimize your routes. The most important thing is to use the most efficient route possible. This means that you can reduce fuel consumption and transportation cost by using alternative modes of transport, such as rail or even shipping containers, to maximize the number of shipments you can send daily. If there are no alternatives available, consider using smaller amounts of goods per shipment so that they are less energy intensive on their way from their origin (e.g., China) to their destination (e.g., US).
Use Sustainable Packaging
Recycled materials are an excellent alternative because they are typically strong enough to endure the rigors of shipping and storage. Biodegradable materials such as paper and cardboard should be avoided because of the possibility of chemicals seeping into food products during processing or storage. Plastic should not be used in shipping containers because it might leach dangerous chemicals into food goods during transportation, making them unsafe for youngsters or pregnant women to consume. Aluminum is another metal to avoid since it can trigger allergic reactions in persons with sensitivities or allergies.
Embrace Alternative Fuels
One of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions is using alternative fuels. Alternative fuels are produced from agricultural waste, algae, or other organic materials. They can include biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells, and other energy sources that do not produce greenhouse gases.
Biofuels include ethanol (made from corn), biodiesel (from soybeans), and natural gas liquids such as ethane, butane, and propane converted into biogasoline through anaerobic digestion. Other biofuels, such as biodiesel, may be blended with conventional diesel because it causes less engine wear compared with pure vegetable oil-based diesel.
Consolidating shipments can save money and reduce carbon footprint. For example, if you have ten shipments to make and each takes one day to ship, your shipping costs would be $500 per shipment. If you consolidate those ten shipments into one large load, your shipping cost is reduced by 50%—to $250 per shipment. In addition to saving money on shipping costs, this approach also reduces the fuel used in trucking because fewer trucks need to be moved around town or country during a business day (or night).
Implement Load Optimization
Load optimization is a technique for reducing the amount of goods carried. It has the potential to minimize shipping’s carbon footprint while also being cost-effective and efficient in terms of fuel usage and emissions.
Load optimization is transporting items from one location to another while they are still in their original state, as opposed to transporting them after they have been processed or modified in some other way before being sent on their way again. This procedure avoids unneeded packaging material, which helps to significantly reduce CO2 emissions during transit (i.e., from manufacture).
Invest in Fleet Efficiency
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, you need to invest in fleet efficiency—that means using less fuel, fewer people, fewer machines, and resources.
Achieving efficient transportation using the right technology will help your business save money while minimizing its environmental impact. The following tips can help:
- Invest in a fleet management system (FMS) that tracks how much fuel is used per mile traveled and how much time each vehicle spends moving cargo around town. This information will allow you to make informed decisions about which cars are most efficient at transporting goods throughout your company’s supply chain network; for example, if one truck has better fuel efficiency than another, then this may mean that it would be worth investing more money into upgrading its engine rather than keeping both trucks going on long drives across the country every day!
Promote Intermodal Transportation
Intermodal transportation is the movement of goods from one mode of transportation to another. It’s more efficient than traditional modes of transportation, such as trucks and trains, because it allows you to move your cargo quickly and easily. In addition, intermodal transport can reduce carbon footprint by eliminating unnecessary traffic congestion on roads and highways, reducing air pollution.
Intermodal shipping practices include:
- Using only containers when transporting goods instead of traditional trucks or rail cars is often used in other industries like mining or construction (or even as a means for delivering mail). Containers allow you to bulk up on items while reducing costs because they’re reusable over time instead of having them sent back after use once they’ve been emptied again—thus reducing waste!
Track and Analyze Carbon Footprint
One of the most critical things you can do is track and analyze your freight’s carbon footprint. It helps you understand the environmental impact of your shipping methods and allows you to make changes to lower your carbon footprint.
Understanding how much fuel it takes to move goods from point A to point B and how much fuel they consume while being transported by truck or plane is the first step toward measuring and analyzing your freight’s carbon footprint. If there are any unused parts in your supply chain, such as used tires or cardboard boxes, you should also be able to determine those figures.
In the end, shipping can be a complex web of transportation and logistics that often falls through the cracks. But in this case, it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take on your shipping journey that will significantly impact reducing your carbon footprint. By being aware of what we carry and how we ship it, you’re taking control of your carbon footprint and helping reduce climate change.