Building an environmentally friendly supply chain
Building an environmentally friendly supply chain

The environment is a topic that has risen to the top of the agenda in recent years and minimising the impact of business on it has become a priority. The supply chain is currently one of the most significant contributors to environmental issues as a result of the vast number of deliveries and container movements that take place every day. However, that’s now starting to change. From taking steps to reduce empty miles to more environmentally friendly packaging choices there are many ways in which we are beginning to build a more environmentally friendly supply chain for the future.


Reducing corporate carbon footprints

This is primarily being driven by businesses looking to start sourcing raw materials from suppliers that are more local. However, a commitment to minimising the number of miles involved in each delivery could also be something as simple as a consumer opting for a local freight company, as opposed to a global logistics brand. Local sourcing is a key option for increasing the green credentials of the supply chain.


Eco-friendly packaging

There are several ways in which changing attitudes and approaches to packaging can make a big difference to the supply chain overall. For example, minimising the amount of packaging that each delivery requires can substantially reduce the total volumes used. Plus there are now many more options for packaging materials, including those that are reusable and recyclable.


Working with drivers to improve efficiency

In particular, fuel efficiency can seriously affect how environmentally sound each journey is. Driver performance analysis provides opportunities to identify how drivers function, whether they are taking the routes that are the most efficient and where small changes could be made to improve fuel per mile ratios.


Reducing wasted driving time

Currently, ‘empty miles’ have a big impact on how environmentally friendly a business is – these are often the return leg of a delivery journey where the trailer is completely empty. Working with a haulage exchange, like Returnloads, provides opportunities not just to reduce the number of empty miles in the business but to increase revenues with full return loads too.


A different approach to container loads

In addition to ensuring that more return journeys are fully optimised, another approach to container loads is also helping to make the supply chain more environmentally friendly. This involves ensuring that full container loads are being shipped, as opposed to less than full. It may mean sharing containers with other businesses or waiting to ship items in bulk. The overall impact is that the total number of containers being shipped is reduced.


Less wasteful warehouse management

A robust warehouse management system helps to reduce the waste that can be problematic when it comes to the environmental impact of the supply chain. The insights that can be drawn from warehouse data via this type of system can improve efficiency and minimise wasted resources to boost green credentials overall.


These are just some of the ways in which it’s possible to start building a more environmentally friendly supply chain.

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