Sustainable Logistics: Moving From Problem To Solution
Though in the last couple of years, there has been an increase in the startups which are focusing on innovative, green solutions to pave the way for an eco-friendly future. And some startups have been able to catch the attention with their green initiatives and bring solutions for logistics business
The global average atmospheric carbon dioxide is setting a new high and peaks at 420 parts per million. For decades, the logistics industry has faced criticism for not being environment-friendly and for not showing the willingness to adopt green solutions. Though in the last couple of years, there has been an increase in the startups which are focusing on innovative, green solutions to pave the way for an eco-friendly future. And some startups have been able to catch the attention with their green initiatives and bring solutions for logistics business in a multi-channel, complex marketplace.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ at the World Leaders Summit 2021 already warned the world about the way we are harming our environment. “Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: either we stop it or it stops us. It’s time to say “enough”. Enough of brutalizing biodiversity. Enough of killing ourselves with carbon. Enough of treating nature like a toilet. Enough of burning and drilling and mining our way deeper. We are digging our graves.”
Seeing the alarming environmental threats, there is an urgent need to navigate to sustainable green logistics. Sustainable logistics refers to the processes and practices which help in improving the sustainability of supply-chain activities including the supply of raw materials, storage, packaging, transportation, and distribution management of the lifecycle of products. There are plenty of efforts that can be put in this direction such as implementing modern freight forwarders network solutions, digitizing the entire operation and sourcing sustainable goods and materials, etc. to retain the competitive advantage. Here are a few tips to navigate to sustainable logistics:
Choose sustainable transportation
The carbon footprint problem is a major challenge in the modern logistics world, and companies are constantly looking for new ways to cut needless energy consumption with the hope to minimize expenses and influence the bottom line positively. Streamlining fleet management ensures the mobility of things in eco-friendly and hassle-free modes of transportation while taking care of the safety, and health and optimizing the cost for the company. GPS fleet routing and tracking, AI-enabled route analytics, pop-up warehouses, and improved road safety such as avoiding sudden braking, breaching the speed limit which results in fuel wastage, and monitoring carbon emissions levels, etc. are a few great initiatives in this direction.
AI- supply chain revolution
AI-enabled services help in analyzing the volumes of data and managing operations which are strengthening the supply-chain management solutions and organizations to tackle environment-related challenges. Integrated planning enables the companies to balance trade-offs and optimize earnings while linking and managing the logistics production, marketing, and procurement-related activities as a whole. The system integration may help in overcoming the overbudgeting of the projects or being delayed.
Consumers are already familiar with the concept of crowdsourcing local services through digital platforms. And location-based crowdsourcing allows them to open a mobile app to hail a ride, book a place to stay, schedule takeout to arrive, etc. With this technology, the logistics can connect directly with the local courier carriers to make deliveries. Companies can ensure the fastest deliveries to their customers, when and where they want them. The on-demand and scheduled deliveries also ensure that customers are home at the time of delivery while eliminating the need for a second attempt. With the ongoing integration of automation, the companies are coming up with wonderful initiatives such as robot deliveries, self-driving vehicles or drones, etc. in managing the drop-offs easily.
Companies that go the extra mile and put more effort into sourcing their materials through sustainable means can gain a huge customer base. A sustainable supply chain can get you more business and support through internationally recognized standards, such as ISO 14001. It’s a management system that helps you identify gaps in your business and you can make green efficiency savings while showing support for the environment.
Using alternative vehicles
Choosing biofuel instead of fossil fuels is a great way to lower the carbon emission levels in the environment. Replacing old trucks with environment-friendly vehicles will lead to ecological and sustainability goals. Also, there is a wide range of green alternatives available in the market such as sea shipping, hybrid or electric vehicles, eco-friendly trains, etc.
To reduce the environmental impact caused by the logistics sector, companies should put their efforts into aligning themselves with the concept of environmental preservation. They should seek solutions and look at sustainable models which may help in minimizing the impact of their business operations on the environment.
(The given article is attributed to Ashish Agarwal, CEO and Director at Seros Logistics. and has been exclusively created for BW Disrupt)
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