Sustainable freight transportation: Future of logistics Industry
As per a recent google survey, about 53% of shoppers perform their research before buying a product to make sure that they are making the best decision.
They want to know all the different important aspects of a particular product or service before making a purchasing or hiring decision.
How is the product made? What are the company’s policies? And what is the environmental impact of your product or service? These are some of the common questions that modern customers ask before buying any product or hiring any service.
This conscious consumerism has impacted the logistics industry at a wider level. Apart from this, in order to achieve the UN SDG goals, many countries around the globe have come up with policies around sustainable manufacturing and logistics. Owing to its impact, sustainable freight transportation is becoming a rising trend in the logistics industry.
What is sustainable freight transportation?
Sustainable freight transportation refers to adopting and implementing eco-friendly practices for transporting goods to reduce the impact of logistics activities on the environment.
As per United Nations conference on trade and development report, sustainable and resilient transportation offers plenty of social, economic and environmental benefits such as reduced GHG gas emissions, increased freight productivity with decreased cost, safe and secure labor conditions for employees and much more.
What is the significance of sustainable freight transportation?
As per a recent McKinsey research, the transport sector accounted for 21% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It is expected that freight will become the world’s highest emitting sector by 2050 if the world continues business as usual.
It is important to reimagine and rethink the long-term global infrastructure development and embrace sustainable and eco-friendly practices for freight transportation.
What are the ways to include sustainable practices in the logistics industry?
Review your existing logistics operation policies and find out the ways to make them more sustainable
As a first step, it is important to review your existing logistics operations and strategies to analyze how your company is handling their logistic operations and what are the places where you could implement sustainable and eco-friendly practices. This first step creates a sense of environmental awareness in your organization and assists you in making a solid plan for implementing sustainable logistics for future endeavors.
Travel route optimization for transportation
Freight travels through various routes from rail to road and sea. This multi-modal transportation can lead to increased carbon emissions and environmental pollution.
To minimize this impact, logistics companies can find out ways to optimize travel routes. Digital technology can be used as a helpful tool for travel route optimization. This approach not only helps in decreasing the transportation cost but also works great in increasing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions as well.
Focus on increasing the use of eco-friendly vehicles for freight transportation
Green vehicles are in great demand and global logistics companies are showing interest in utilizing this incredible energy-efficient technology for transporting their goods. They can use eco-friendly ways of transportation (like electric vehicles, CNG vehicles, hydrogen based fuel, solar and wind energy based transportation and warehousing etc.) for transporting goods whenever it is possible. Moreover, using electric bikes and including foot delivery (delivery through walking) can be a great option to transport the goods in neighborhood areas, especially for quick commerce.
Using alternate and eco-friendly fuels
Next, the use of alternative and eco-friendly fuels (like compressed natural gas, biodiesel, bioethanol etc.) is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and make freight transportation sustainable and safer for the environment. There is immense research going on in identifying alternative fuels and making them commercially viable for large scale use. Using sustainable energy to power freight transportation is another area with immense potential.
In the era of quick commerce and overnight deliveries, the impact of packaging material on the environment is not given enough thought. Multiple packaging (especially the plastic ones) are usually dumped into the landfill and it takes years to get decomposed.
To reduce its impact, logistic companies can use eco-friendly and recyclable packaging for packaging their goods. Multiple options are available in the market today, however greater research is required for specialized industries. Furthermore, companies can also focus on filling the shipping containers up to the full capacity to avoid wasted energy and using the container space up to maximum.
In conclusion, sustainable freight transportation is a future for the logistics industry. However, it has its own set of challenges, like lack of public adaptability and brand hesitation for incorporating eco-friendly practices, etc. If brands, logistics companies and customers work as a team, then they can overcome these challenges and may make green logistics a norm for the future generations.