Green Shipping Practices in The Trucking Industry
The truck industry’s carbon footprint is tremendous. As you can imagine, thousands of trucks drive coast to coast daily using massive amounts of fuel and oil and emitting dangerous carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the air. Furthermore, packaging and fulfillment can cause a significant amount of waste that finds its way into landfills and oceans.
The good news is that the industry is making efforts towards greener and healthier practices. Best yet? Green shipping is also better for your company’s bottom line. Eco-shipping solutions are win-win-win for your business, your customers, and the environment.
But why should you be green? And what are the practices you can implement in your company to have more sustainable processes?
Why Be Green?
There are three major reasons to go green: protect the environment, protect your company’s image, and protect the bottom line.
The Environmental Defense Fund says that freight movement currently accounts for 16% of all corporate-caused greenhouse gas emissions. There have been government crackdowns on the trucking industry to try to save the environment from harmful pollutants and waste…but it’s still not enough.
Going green can help to reduce this extensive set of carbon footprints, step by step. You are doing your part to minimize the impact of your shipping on the environment.
Most customers now are calling for companies to be socially conscious. Corporate social responsibility is no longer a “niche,” but becoming a part of most key business principles and goals. Even if you don’t have a specific social mission in your company, minimizing your negative impact on the environment—and thus positively impacting other aspects of society—can give you a stronger brand with a more loyal client base.
Being green often means having more efficient processes with lower fuel usage and better packing materials. This generally means a lower cost expenditure in the long-term, which is great for the bottom line of your department and overall company.
What Are Green Practices?
Going green generally means less: less fuel and less packaging means less emission of greenhouse gasses.
1. Different Packing Materials
One of the simplest ways to have less waste and to save money is by reducing or changing your packing materials. There are a lot of companies out there with green or recycled shipping goods that are better for the environment and for your customers. Did you know that bubble wrap is recyclable? It’s also 75% less expensive than Styrofoam, which isn’t recyclable. Being good to the earth doesn’t have to mean hurting your wallet.
2. Cleaner Equipment
Certain trucks and shipment equipment use less fuel and energy than others. Look for machines and trucks that use low-sulfur diesel fuel with clean-burning engines. Some equipment even has emission controls that let the driver see exactly how much fuel is expended during each trip! This can help keep track of your footprint, thus working through new ways to reduce and minimize your impact per truck.
3. Slower Speeds
Driving at slower speeds actually saves you fuel. However, slower speed means slower delivery—which is generally the opposite of what you want. It’s important to have a balanced alignment of speed with fuel efficiency. This is often best tracked with transportation management software.
The inevitable implementation of autonomous trucks could help decrease fuel consumption, without giving up speed through vehicle platooning. In fact, emissions can be reduced up to 20% with this practice.
4. Transportation Management Software
The best way to manage your fuel, speed, efficiency, and emission reductions is through a transportation management software. Outsourcing these processes to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) allows that company to find and utilize the greenest, most effective procedures for your business. They can ensure you are always appropriately balancing service, speed, fuel, and cost of freight rates through comprehensive tracking and analysis tools.
5. Third-Party Logistics Providers
In a similar fashion, a 3PL can actually cut down on fuel by condensing shipments from different shippers. This means less empty trucks on the road, creating more efficiency industry-wide.
Consider using a company like LTX Solutions to help implement effective practices that are good for your business, your brand, your budget, and the environment. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you go green.