sustainable logistics

It’s no secret that many consumers now consider the sustainability of a product before purchasing, much like they consider price or quality. In fact, a recent study suggests that more than a third of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products as demand grows for environmentally friendly alternatives. 

When you think of sustainability, you might think of CPG brands practicing ethical sourcing or using recyclable packaging.

But did you know that you can make your supply chain greener, too? 

Electric Vehicles  

Companies like Tesla have brought electric semi-trucks into the game. At the end of 2022, Tesla delivered its first semis to PepsiCo. Elon Musk revealed that one of Tesla’s battery powered class 8 semi-trucks completed a 500-mile trip fully loaded with 81,000 pounds of cargo – all off a single charge.  

Although massive improvements to fuel efficiency and alternative energy vehicles has occurred over the past few decades, widespread implementation of these advancements is still aspirational. 

Decreasing Fuel Consumption through Route Optimization 

In the meantime, one of the best ways for manufacturers to find fuel efficiency improvements and emission-curbing opportunities is through route optimization. Advanced technological suites and logistics planning methodology can help brands find optimal routing for their deliveries, reducing route miles and other inefficiencies that truck drivers commonly encounter. 

Aligning Parts of the Supply Chain 

Misaligned production, warehousing, and transportation functions are also a large source of supply chain inefficiencies. They can cost brands big in wasted resources, time, and money. 

By better aligning the disparate parts of a supply chain, manufacturers can find ways to eliminate operational issues that contribute to less sustainable practices within an organization. This recalibration can be achieved by performing an in-depth network evaluation to understand how production, storage, and outbound logistics can collectively work towards sustainability. 

Finding Freight Consolidation Opportunities 

Freight consolidation offers a multitude of benefits to CPG brands. Besides reducing fuel costs and emissions, consolidation also helps brands hit key retailer benchmarks like OTIF and MABD, improving customer relationships. 

Considering Alternative Transportation Modes for Sustainable Logistics  

How you ship products is another way to connect with consumers who are becoming increasingly likely to consider sustainability before making a purchase. 

According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), 30 million trucks on U.S. roads generate about 7% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than aviation, maritime shipping, and rail combined!

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 U.S. highways for a year or planting 400 million trees. 

Tracking Key Metrics to Drive Sustainable Logistics Performance Improvement  

Technology has transformed the way the supply chain operates by increasing visibility throughout the life of a load. 

This added transparency allows vendors to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to drive performance initiatives. 

These typically translate to increased sustainability by eliminating inefficiencies that drive up cost and use resources. Reducing KPIs like transit time to distance or average dwell time can benefit your supply chain’s sustainability. 

Working with Providers That Value Sustainability Logistics 

If your customers value sustainability, you should too.  Does making your supply chain greener feel overwhelming? Is it the last thing on your list of your priorities? 

Consider working with a forward-thinking logistics provider who can take that responsibility off your plate. 

Zipline Logistics is a registered SmartWay Transport Partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s SmartWay program helps companies advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. 

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. It means fewer trucks on the road, higher efficiencies, lower emissions, and smarter spending. 

Ready to put both the environment and your customers’ needs first? Reach out to us today. 

Go Green with Zipline