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17th December 2019

Making delivery services sustainable

The transportation industry faces a lot of criticism for being one of the largest contributors to air pollution. According to a 2017 report by EPA, the transportation sector is responsible for 28.9% of emissions in the USA. For the first time in 800,000 years, global carbon emissions have crossed 400 ppm in 2019. According to calculations, we are way behind the targeted carbon emission rates and they should be lowered by at least 50% by 2050

If you’re in the transport business, going ‘green’ will not only improve the air you breathe, but it will also reduce your long-term costs and attract customers who value environmental accountability. Not all good things come with ease and you may have to face a few difficulties along the way. Nonetheless with a little research and dedication, it is still very much possible for you to adapt to eco alternatives without compromising on your quality.

Why strive for sustainability?

By investing in sustainable practices, you will reduce costs and thus increase profits in time. Fossil fuels are limited and take millions of years to form while on the other hand the need for fuel and power across the globe keeps growing. The high demand paired with the limited supply results in high prices that will keep going higher every year. It only makes sense to shift towards alternatives that are abundantly available and cheaper.

In a world where those reliant on delivery services are themselves under pressure to drive sustainability, no one is immune. Whilst your clients and customers have to meet compliance requirements, you do too. Being able to offer sustainable logistics practices, such as reusable packaging or efficient loading enables you to offer the service being expected.

Additionally, it is also possible to lower your own costs through increasing efficiency, which in turn benefits sustainability. Over time, as supply of fossil fuels decreases, whilst its cost increases, we will all need alternatives or ‘greener’ solutions to our logistics problems.

How can logistic services be more sustainable?

There are a number of ways to carry out sustainable logistic practices:

Limit wastage    

Sustainability is all about utilising your resources to their full potential. Therefore it is crucial to plan out your deliveries and inventories to minimise wasted trips and use up the extra space during transportation and in storage.

Becoming more energy efficient

The same tasks can be achieved by using lesser energy through efficiency. Many transport organisations waste energy by bulking up. Non-profit organisations like Smart Freight Centre (SFC) aim to make the industry carry out its services in a more efficient manner and while producing fewer emissions.

Taking Optimal Routes

Another aspect of intelligent management is to use GPS services or mapping to take the shortest and safest possible routes to avoid wasted miles.

Optimal Deliveries

Collaborating with other warehouses and transportation organisations can ensure that every vehicle is utilising its space to the max.

Reducing weight

Using lighter packaging, lighter materials, and lighter vehicles will result in less fuel wastage, which in turn will produce fewer emissions.

Return Processes

The use of e-commerce allows you to keep an eye on your return processes with much more ease.

Less packaging

Often times, huge amounts of plastic and cardboard are wasted in excessive packaging. This can be avoided by using calculated amounts of durable material, which will protect the package without causing waste.


Transport companies should look for more sustainable packaging options. Many companies create packaging material from recycled sources.

Automation to Boost Productivity

There are a number of ways to include automation in the transportation process. The advantages of automation are that there are less errors and thus less wastage of time and material.

Making these small changes will prove to be beneficial for you, your company, your consumers, and the planet. Making logistic services more efficient will result in less air and noise pollution as well as less traffic. They will reduce your costs and overtime the numbers will show that going ‘green‘ certainly holds its perks for businesses. In a world that is rapidly gaining awareness on environmental issues, you do not want to be on the wrong side.

Sustainable Delivery Service

Steps need to be taken by delivery services to ensure that they meet their goal of safely delivering packages while keeping sustainability in mind. Here are some ideas to keep your delivery services eco-friendly:

When packing, it is better to choose materials made from recycled objects to reduce environmental impact. Moreover, the amount of packaging should be restricted to a need-basis to avoid excess wastage on materials that end up in the trash. Avoid materials such as styrofoam and plastic as they don’t decompose easily.

In addition to using less material, try to make smaller packaging as well. This will mean that the packages will take up less space and can be bulked with more items, which will reduce the number of trips required by a vehicle.

Your company may also benefit by outsourcing to third-party delivery companies to keep up a certain standard of customer service. Something like this courier comparison website could help you find the right service to outsource to.

If you find it difficult to incorporate greener technologies into your business, then you can compensate by investing in the development of renewable energy sources.

Lastly, revisit your returns policy to ensure that your practice is as eco-friendly as possible without compromising your standards.

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