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The benefits of green shipping for your freight business

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As ecommerce and online shopping increase, freight companies are working hard to get products to end customers. Unfortunately, this has negative consequences for the environment due to emissions created by traditional shipping practices. 

The good news is that many freight and shipping businesses are becoming more eco-conscious and making changes to become more sustainable by reducing their carbon footprint with green shipping practices.

What is green shipping?

Green shipping is a combination of different strategies and initiatives that minimize the environmental impact of transporting goods. The goal of green shipping is to decrease carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency, and implement sustainable practices throughout every step of the shipping process. 

How can I make my freight company more sustainable?

With these three approaches, your freight company can become more sustainable.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting compensates for your carbon footprint by investing in environmental projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere. You can contribute to independent climate protection organizations working to reduce carbon emissions with renewable energy or reforestation projects. 

Carbon insetting

Carbon insetting is a way to reduce emissions within your own operations or supply chain by collaborating with your supply chain partners to implement greener practices, such as using sustainable biofuels. 

Carbon neutrality

Today, many companies are pledging to become carbon neutral by offsetting their CO2 emissions. This approach helps achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by removing the same amount from the atmosphere with the help of organizations that specialize in carbon removal technology. 

What you may need to change

To become more sustainable and reduce your environmental impact, your freight company should rethink the following:

  • Fuel: Consider switching to low-carbon aviation or biofuels. You can also lower your fuel consumption by using electric trucks or shipping transportation methods like rail or boats.
  • Packaging: Replace plastic packing materials with recyclable cardboard, biodegradable pulp, or reusable packaging options. 
  • Paper: Going digital with your paperwork can help your company become greener and make your documents more secure and accessible from anywhere. 

6 benefits of green shipping for your freight business

If you make the right strategic investments in sustainability, green shipping can provide your company with the following benefits.

Increase long-term growth 

Greener practices and policies help you save money in the long run. For example, improving fuel efficiency or finding better routes reduces fuel consumption and transportation costs—not to mention delivery times. 

Streamline your business

Green shipping and innovation go hand in hand. By adopting new and innovative technologies, you can improve supply chain visibility, get orders to customers faster, and improve overall efficiency. 

Appeal to eco-conscious markets and customers

Customers want to work with companies that are environmentally responsible and dedicated to sustainability. By promoting your green shipping practices on your website and social channels, you can enhance your corporate image and reputation. 

Comply with industry regulations

Because more countries are implementing new sustainability regulations, embracing green shipping now ensures compliance and can help you avoid penalties and legal issues later.

Get tax breaks and other incentives

Some state governments and large organizations offer subsidies, grants, and tax breaks to incentivize freight businesses to go green, all of which can be used to ease the cost of implementing green practices.

Protect your supply chain

Sustainability can build a more resilient supply chain. With advanced technologies, you can identify the best routes and quickly resolve logistical issues. 

How to transition to green shipping in your freight company

According to “The Green Freight Handbook” from The Environmental Defense Fund, here are five strategies to help your freight company transition to green shipping. 

  1. Get the most out of every move. To reduce the number of trips, maximize the freight capacity by filling entire spaces with the help of technology or packaging design. 
  2. Choose the most carbon-efficient transport mode. Change to lower-fuel vehicle types. Air, ocean, waterways, rail, and road all have different costs and carbon outputs. If you can’t use one freight mode for the entire journey, combine different transportation types.
  3. Collaborate. Freight management involves a lot of different parties and moving parts. Collaborating with different companies and promoting open discussion with internal and external teams can help you become more efficient and ship the same volume in fewer and fuller loads. 
  4. Redesign your logistics network. Periodically evaluating and changing the logistics network can help lower freight costs, fuel usage, and emit less. Although this requires a big cross-organizational effort, it gives you a roadmap of what changes need to be made. 
  5. Demand cleaner equipment and practices. Encourage your supply chain providers to use cleaner equipment and practices, stick to a maintenance schedule, and enforce green operational policies.

How to evaluate the success of your transition

However you decide to tackle your transition to green shipping, you want to be able to measure your level of success. Here’s a three-step approach to evaluate your efforts. 

  1. Choose metrics to track – Identify metrics like environmental impact, logistical efficiency, or revenue, along with KPIs that align with your objectives.
  2. Implement changes – Implement changes that make sense for your business. This could be clean equipment, better routes, new modes of transportation, or different packaging. 
  3. Assess the results – Continually collect and evaluate the results to measure the impact of your initiatives, so you can make informed decisions and necessary adjustments across different departments.

Short-term obstacles

While transitioning to green shipping is a huge undertaking, there are ways you can confidently tackle the short-term challenges that come with it. 

  • Initial investment: Making changes to become greener can be costly, requiring upfront investments. But keep in mind that these changes have long-term benefits, such as cost savings, improved efficiency, and enhanced brand reputation. And don’t forget—there are subsidies, grants, and tax breaks available to help you make the transition.
  • Operational adjustments: Some team members can be resistant to change, especially when switching to new technologies and ways of thinking. To make the adjustment smoother, think about implementing a gradual transition plan with plenty of training and continuing education courses. It’s also important to establish an environment of open and honest communication so that everybody feels heard and valued.

Going green is becoming non-negotiable, and it’s more important than ever in the eyes of many consumers and businesses. With the right mix of environmentally friendly freight practices and technologies, you can ensure your logistics operations are efficient and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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This content is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice of any type, such as financial, legal, tax, or accounting advice. This content does not necessarily state or reflect the views of Bluevine or its partners. Please consult with an expert if you need specific advice for your business. For information about Bluevine products and services, please visit the Bluevine FAQ page.

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This content is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice of any type, such as financial, legal, tax, or accounting advice. This content does not necessarily state or reflect the views of Bluevine or its partners. Please consult with an expert if you need specific advice for your business. For information about Bluevine products and services, please visit the Bluevine FAQ page.

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