Maintaining positive public perception has become a powerful source of differentiation for CPG brands. And a great way to gain the favor of consumers is through sustainability and green logistics practices.
As CPG brands aim to be more customer-focused, integrating corporate sustainability measures is crucial to gain a competitive advantage.
New consumers have demonstrated that products must do more than serve a surface level purpose. They must also be produced by brands that meet their personal values. Sustainability has become a sweeping consideration among US shoppers, especially in the CPG market space.
In a survey from Hotwire, 47% of consumers said they had recently switched to a different product or service because the company had violated their values. Again, sustainability stood out as the most cited consideration for jumping to a competitor’s product, with 47% of respondents saying they wanted to do business with environmentally conscious brands.
Moreover, according to a study conducted by NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, “products marketed as sustainable grew 5.6 times faster than those that were not. In more than 90% of the CPG categories, sustainability-marketed products grew faster than their conventional counterparts.”
How Can Green Logistics Practices Help CPG Brands?
When most recall images of corporate sustainability, eco-conscious consumer packaging or material sourcing are likely some of what comes to mind. However, green logistics processes can have just an enormous impact on brands aiming to differentiate themselves.
Organizations of all sizes are finding a dependable way to do this is by incorporating green logistics practices. Here are few ways brands can incorporate them.
Utilizing Freight Consolidation
Freight consolidation occurs when shippers combine multiple small orders on the same truck to deliver to a common receiver.
By lumping together multiple shipments destined for a singular location, vendors can reduce fuel costs and increase efficiencies, both of which are green logistics practitioners’ goals.
Consolidation efforts can also help brands improve key metrics with retailers like OTIF and MABD requirements, improving customer relationships, which is another way to stand out among competitors.
Operational Alignment Improvements
Misaligned production, warehousing, and transportation functions are a common pitfall for CPG shippers. Besides causing issues with customers, they can undercut a brand’s sustainability efforts.
Through in-depth network analysis, shippers can uncover how the disparate parts of their operation are functioning with one another. This effort will allow brands to find ways to create a more cohesive supply chain that can meet customer needs more efficiently, cut costs, and move toward sustainability.
Lowering Fuel Consumption and Costs
Despite advancements in electric vehicles, they have not yet had widespread implementation and use in carrier fleets. Until there is mass adoption, the most reliable method for reducing fuel costs and consumption is route optimization.
When combined with advanced technology suites, green logistics planning can help CPG brands find optimal routing for orders, which reduces miles traveled, fuel consumption, and other inefficiencies that truck drivers commonly encounter.
Selecting Other Transportation Modes
How brands ship their products can be another great way to utilize green logistics practices. Rail and intermodal shipping have emerged as dependable options for shippers moving products across the country. In addition to their affordability, rail and intermodal shipping are also more environmentally friendly.
According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), trucking is more than six times more carbon-intensive than rail. Trains can now move one ton of cargo approximately 484 miles on just one gallon of fuel.
The impact of adopting an intermodal shipping strategy is significant in contributing to sustainable operations. If just 10% of the freight that moves by the largest trucks (Class 7/Class 8) were carried by rail instead, greenhouse gas emissions would fall by approximately 17 million tons. That reduction is the equivalent of removing around 3.2 million cars from US highways for a year or planting 400 million trees.
Leveraging Logistics Data
The importance of data in the supply chain has drastically increased over the past few years. It can tell an organization a lot about their performance and isolate areas for improvement.
Data can also show shippers where their biggest logistics deficiencies exist. By understanding underperformance and taking actionable improvement steps, CPG brands can decrease inefficiency in unsustainable supply chain practices.
Reducing KPIs like transit time to distance or average dwell time can add green logistics practices to an organization.
Sourcing Partners That Value Sustainability
Brands unable to complete in-house audits or performance improvements should consider working with partners to augment these sustainability strategies. Many of the most forward-thinking providers in the industry leverage a comprehensive approach in which cost-saving and performance improvements create a more sustainable supply chain.
When choosing external logistics providers, enterprises must work with partners that share similar values. If sustainability is essential to your organization, it is critical to find a provider to help you achieve that goal.
Work with a Green Logistics Provider
Zipline Logistics continually works with customers to identify ways to reduce emissions and move toward sustainable logistics practices.
We help customers reduce both carbon emissions and overall transportation spending by leveraging data analytics and optimization technologies to identify unique order consolidation, scheduling, and routing solutions.
Additionally, we work alongside our carrier partners to fill empty backhaul miles and reduce unused truck space. Maximizing assets and identifying shared transportation opportunities between partners is a win-win—fewer trucks on the road, higher efficiencies, lower emissions, and smarter spending.
Is your organization looking for a sustainable logistics solution?