Why shippers should reduce emissions in their network

Jason VanoverCarbon Intelligence Blog

ltl freight rates

Aside from the implementation of automated technology and digital tools, one of the most significant shifts in the shipping and transportation industry focuses on reduced emissions. It seems like buzzwords like “ESG,” “sustainability,” and “net-zero” keep getting thrown around. But what do they mean for the supply chain network of today? Why are more and more shippers and carriers working to reduce pollution and lower emissions? What do the many global supply chains plan on doing to embrace an environmentally minded approach with reduced emissions and lower pollution levels? Yes, it’s possible to think about intermodal savings, but there’s much more opportunity with the right market view. Let’s take a closer look at these questions and what they mean for shippers, brokers and carriers.

The impact transportation emissions have on global supply chain networks

A few main categories of pollution and waste can be tied back to local and global supply chain activities and poor integration practices.

  • Pollution – emissions from vehicles and warehouses can have a massive impact on air quality and directly contribute to climate change.
  • Wasted resources  – modern-day supply chains leave waste behind when it comes to under-utilized resources and materials.
  • Fuel consumption – older trucks and outdated shipping practices can lead to excessive fuel use, thus increasing resource consumption.
  • Trash accumulation – shipping materials and related items can end up in oceans and landfills, sometimes contaminating the environment.

While focusing on reduced emissions represents just one piece of the puzzle, an easy and critical first step needs to occur.

Reduced emissions in particular can lead to lower fees and expenses for shippers

Hardly anyone would argue the fact that emissions have a direct impact on the environment. The point that gets misunderstood, however, is how it affects supply chains. By not focusing on reduced emissions and eco-friendly operations, logistics managers and freight brokers often face several financial impacts. Poor emission control can result in:

  • Payment of pollution expenses and charges levied against companies that seem to be high-level polluters. 
  • More maintenance work needs to be done on vehicles to repair old outdated fleets to curb emissions.
  • Higher expenses when purchasing new vehicles and equipment to comply with legal regulations and laws.
  • Increased fuel costs as less-efficient vehicles consume more fuel and rely on less eco-friendly material usage.
  • Supply chain collaboration and networking to responsibly share resources and reduce pollution rates overall.

If for nothing other than saving money and increasing their bottom-line profits, supply chain companies today need to embrace the “going green” movement, using real-time data to make the best decisions.

New innovations can help shippers reduce environmental impacts while also promoting brand awareness 

Working toward reduced emissions remains something all shipping directors and logistics managers need to be seriously considering. Consumers today look for green-minded companies to do business with. It is not unheard of for them to choose between two desired brands based on environmental initiatives and policies. According to Business News Daily, at least 80% of consumers feel an essential need for companies to have eco-friendly products and to have specialized environmentally friendly policies and procedures. The majority of consumers in recent years have also shown a renewed interest in supporting companies working to protect the environment in some way. Reduced emissions, among other green initiatives, can help paint a company in a more desirable light. It might seem like a daunting task, but getting started doesn’t have to be stressful.

  • Begin utilizing green fuels and upgrade fleet vehicles.
  • Invest in emission capture processes to reduce emissions.
  • Look into the possibility of alternative energy sources.
  • Improve shipment coordination for less fuel consumption.
  • Improve logistics routing guides to ensure a focus on sustainability.
  • Promote environmental awareness and boost customer retention.

Embrace environmentally focused tools and modern innovations that  generate reduced emissions and higher profits 

Without a doubt, one of the significant changes in modern-day supply chains remains the focus on reduced emissions and sustainability. Going green represents a major focus for many consumers today, and it impacts those companies they ultimately decide to do business within many instances. Embracing the green movement, reducing pollution, using benchmarking reports, and controlling emissions can help shippers implement this trend and boost profits and improve customer loyalty. With the right tools and analytic data in hand, managers can promote a new green initiative throughout the supply chain. Request a FreightWaves SONAR demo to get started.