Eco-Friendly Logistics Arm For Your Business

Posted by Marian

We’re always looking for that extra sustainability factor when working with a business. So, if you are on the hunt for an eco-friendly logistics arm for your business, then Zip Logistics is the trusted name in the industry.

Sustainable logistics encompasses the strategies and processes inside and outside the warehouse aimed at minimizing the impact of the supply chain on the environment. Today, more and more companies, especially the e-commerce industry, are turning to technology or innovation to cope with the high demand for products while striving to cut down on waste as well as energy consumption in their logistics processes.

Why Aim for Sustainable Or ECO-FRIENDLY Logistics?

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The goal of sustainable logistics is to reduce carbon footprints, pollution, and waste in all stages, including product manufacture, storage, order preparation, and the distribution of the goods to the end customer.

The e-commerce explosion has transformed consumer habits, establishing new distribution standards — such as same-day deliveries and ultrafast deliveries that have multiplied the number of trips required to supply customers who shop online. Against this backdrop, companies mustn’t overlook the environmental impact of their actions, since decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

At this juncture, it’s inevitable to wonder: is e-commerce compatible with sustainable logistics? The answer isn’t as simple as it seems. Although one would think that e-commerce causes more pollution than traditional retail, there are views that say just the opposite.

Ways to Promote eco-friendly Logistics

Regardless of the environmental impact of e-commerce versus traditional retail, there’s no doubt that last-mile delivery is the most polluting link in e-commerce.

The solution for this conundrum lies in redesigning certain procedures and operations. So, how are we going to lessen the environmental impact while keeping logistics processes streamlined and fast?

Use Pick-Up Points

Fast home deliveries of generally small orders are one of the main characteristics of the e-commerce distribution system. Home deliveries, which are much more convenient for customers, call for high amounts of the daily truck and van movements. This would result in a significant rise in emissions generated by transportation and considerably affects the organization of city traffic.

One way to respond to this challenge is to opt for an alternative, more sustainable shipping methods, such as in-store pickup, smart lockers, and delivery points. These modalities have a clear advantage: businesses can better organize their dispatches and group the goods by transportation route, significantly cutting down on the number of movements needed to make their deliveries.

In addition, this distribution mechanism offers benefits for consumers, ensuring them maximum flexibility by letting them choose when and where they can pick up their packages.

By optimizing efficiency in the order dispatch process, companies can also make use of technology. With a warehouse management system, the products to be shipped are organized.

Local Preparation of Orders

When a package travels less, greenhouse gas emissions go down. Therefore, using a local delivery network contributes towards more sustainable logistics. Micro-fulfillment centers are an excellent option for decentralizing distribution and being closer to end customers. These centers are located near big cities and have an obvious advantage: orders can be delivered more quickly, without traveling such long distances and, thus, causing less pollution.

These installations stand out for their high degree of automation of storage and order prep tasks. The implementation of automated solutions, such as mini-load systems and roller conveyors for boxes, is fundamental for guaranteeing fast, error-free deliveries.

Minimize Return Volumes

No business in its sane mind would want returns. Generally, returns are very common in the e-commerce sector. There is said to be some increase in returns the past few years which could be incredibly higher in sectors such as the fashion industry where consumers would usually have to guess on sizes and return items when it doesn’t fit well enough.

Reverse logistics has a direct impact on the environment, as it requires additional transportation and fuel, increasing carbon dioxide emissions.

Minimizing your returns would mean sharpening your razor. The first step would be to avoid mistakes in shipping or to make sure the customer doesn’t receive the wrong product or a defective item. Good warehouse management or inventory system can help enormously by verifying each step the operator takes when preparing an order. It also ensures better control of the stock stored.

Zero-Emission Shipping

Another way to lower the environmental impact of last-mile delivery is to transition from a combustion vehicle fleet to cleaner vehicles such as electric bikes. This is the key to the future of sustainable logistics and, to do this, incentives will be required for businesses to be able to overhaul their last-mile fleets.

Environment-Friendly Waste and Packaging Management

Besides CO2 emissions, carbon footprints have another enemy: packaging. Individual order deliveries due to the expansion of e-commerce entail a larger amount of cardboard, paper, and plastic waste.

To distribute their orders, environmentally conscious e-commerce companies use recyclable packaging, which can even be reused for returns if necessary. Some businesses even employ biodegradable packaging and renewable, reusable materials.

We Amplify Sustainable Logistics

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There is no turning back for Zip Logistics. The e-commerce revolution goes beyond economics: it’s changing consumer habits, the organization of cities, and the way logistics works, not to mention the questions it raises regarding its environmental effects.

Currently, the e-commerce sector is faced with the twofold challenge of ensuring quick, flexible deliveries while guaranteeing green logistics. This effort brings various benefits: not only does it have an extremely positive effect on the environment, but it also helps businesses to cut costs by, for example, reducing the travel involved in making shipments.

Additionally, taking into account that the population is increasingly committed to sustainability, companies concerned with implementing good environmental practices will enhance their reputation and be more competitive.

Do We Really Need an Eco-friendly Supply Chain?

Yes, yes, and YES! Designing a sustainable or eco-friendly supply chain is the wave of the future. If you’re not up for it, then you’re lost. A sustainable supply chain is one that supplies products and services that satisfy customers while seeking to produce as little environmental impact as possible and operating in a socially responsible way.

Climate change is one of the biggest threats of the 21st century, concerning both companies and the population as a whole. Therefore, companies look for solutions that minimize greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere in any of their operations.

 Responsible and sustainable use of supply chain resources results in lower costs and represents a huge opportunity for businesses that want to improve their commercial relationships and build customer loyalty.

What is Eco-Friendly or Sustainable Logistics?

A sustainable supply chain or logistical arm is one that tries to minimize environmental and adverse social impact in all its stages, from the time a product is manufactured and stored to its delivery to the end customer.

This calls for the collaboration of all supply chain stakeholders, from suppliers of raw and packaging materials to the carriers responsible for distributing the orders. All of them need to sync their efforts, fomenting specific actions such as the use of raw materials from sustainable sources or the rationalization of the resources used.

A sustainable supply chain prioritizes the rational use of resources, below are some of its benefits:

  • Cost Reduction. Companies that reuse raw materials bring down their costs significantly.
  • Boost Corporate Image. More consumers are now looking for companies who have that environmental impact. Companies that are truly concerned about the environment and act accordingly will boost their reputation and be more competitive.
  • Innovation. The supply chain sustainability strategy consists of implementing new processes and redesigning various organizational practices. Consequently, products can be perfected and new business opportunities can be discovered, contributing towards companies’ progress and innovation.

It’s clear that supply chain sustainability is no longer just a question of image; it’s become a need and a strategy that benefits companies, in addition to improving their relationship with the environment and society.

How to Implement an Eco-Friendly Supply Chain

Clear Light Bulb on Black Surface

A sustainable supply chain should ensure efficiency, best practices, and transparency in each of its links. To do so, the following actions can be carried out:

Visibility and Transparency of Operations

When introducing any kind of change in the supply chain, the first step is to achieve full visibility of everything that occurs inside and outside the warehouse.

Enhanced Tech Usability or Digitization

One example of this is having a warehouse management system (WMS) that monitors all processes that happen in a logistics center. Hence, it knows the status of the various warehouse operations, which is fundamental for assessing their impact and being able to optimize them.

An advanced WMS has modules that examine key performance indicators (KPIs) in more detail. Based on that information, the logistics manager can introduce strategic measures aimed at increasing productivity and sustainability.

Ideally, the businesses forming part of the same supply chain such as for packaging and raw materials would use these tools in their logistics facilities.

Centralization of Goods

Bringing all the goods together under one roof is another strategy geared towards creating a sustainable supply chain. This avoids the continuous movement of trucks between the various buildings.

Automation of Warehouses

Technology helps companies to optimize supply chain sustainability, as this enables them to leverage their resources better and also minimize carbon footprint and pollution for long-term sustainability.

Automated handling especially of heavy equipment such as stacker cranes and conveyors is energy-efficient. By doing without gas and other highly contaminating fossil fuels, they minimize CO2 emissions to the atmosphere.

Improved Communication and Collaboration

Sustainable logistics calls for the various warehouses and logistics centers to apply good organizational practices and strive to promote rational and responsible use of resources. The goal is to reduce the environmental and adverse social impacts associated with their activities. To reach this objective, cooperation between all players involved in the supply chain is essential.

From a logistics point of view, automation is a solution that provides some of the best results when it comes to shoring up a sustainable supply chain. We would always turn our heads towards improving technology, communication, and manpower collaboration to create a better logistics system for our clients.

Zip Logistics is the trusted and expert brand when it comes to logistics. We have extensive experience with using these types of facilities. Contact us today to find out how we can provide you an eco-friendly and sustainable logistics system to streamline the needs of your business.

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