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InTek Freight and Logistics Blog

InTek Freight and Logistics is where companies come when faced with a freight and logistics problem within their supply chain.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

What Are the Three Elements of Supply Chain Sustainability?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 27th, 2022

Supply chain sustainability can mean different things to different people, but managing a sustainable supply chain involves accounting for three core elements, also known as the three Ps: People - employee, customer and partner treatment, plus human rights considerations Planet - impact on the environment Profit - long-term financial viability In other words, supply chain sustainability considers social, economic and environmental factors. These elements make up the so-called triple bottom line (TBL) of supply chain sustainability. When discussing a sustainable supply chain, the most typically thought of priority is the third P - Planet, meaning managers make supply chain decisions and implement processes with the strongest consideration for their environmental impact. But ignoring the other elements can make those environmental priorities - you guessed it - unsustainable. 

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Logistics & Supply Chain

What Is the Polluter Pays Principle?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 25th, 2022

With human-caused climate change accepted science, the polluter pays principle brings the idea of consequences for those causing pollution. In its basic sense, the polluter pays principle states that those who produce pollution should pay to manage and stop it from damaging the environment - or human health. Examples of the polluter pays principle in action include Customers having to pay for plastic bags at stores An oil company footing the bill for oil spill cleanup The "Gas Guzzler Tax" on cars that do not meet fuel efficiency standards The polluter pays principle is widely accepted across the globe, with many countries using it as a key cornerstone and/or the basis for environmental policies. The countries making up the European Union (EU) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which also includes non-European nations like the U.S., Japan, Australia and Chile to name a few, have offered strong support for the polluter pays principle borne out in taxation and other policies relating to corporate climate impact. In fact, in its most common form, the polluter pays principle is enforced as a Pigouvian Tax, which is a tax on activities that generate negative side effects. 

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The Ins & Outs of Intermodal Transportation.

The Ins & Outs of Intermodal Transportation.

Everything you need to know about domestic intermodal and how to be successful implementing it into your logistics strategy. Gives tips, tricks and insights on intermodal and what to watch out for when converting from truckload to intermodal.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider

Consumers and Sustainability

By: Kevin Baxter
April 22nd, 2022

A key factor for any business in assessing its operations is how they are perceived by consumers, and the question of embracing sustainability is no exception. After all, becoming a greener, more sustainable company does take a concerted effort. So is it worth it for a company's relationship with existing consumers, as well as the opportunity to gain new ones? The answer in a number of surveys and studies is increasingly: Yes. A 2020 Deloitte survey found 43% of consumers made a conscious lifestyle change to choose brands with environmentally sustainable values and practices.  by  shows that sustainability is becoming increasingly important in consumers’ purchasing decisions, especially as consumers see themselves, along with for profit companies, as the primary catalysts for change. In the Global Sustainability Study 2021 - a major study of more than 10,000 people across 17 countries - that percentage doubled to 85% who'd shifted their purchasing behavior in the past five years. Also in that study, more than a third of respondents said they'd be willing to pay a premium to support sustainable companies. In fact, in our freight and logistics zone, another study showed over half of 500 customers surveyed would pay at least 10% more for eco-friendly shipping and packaging.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

What Are Sustainable Logistics Practices?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 20th, 2022

Sustainable logistics involves emphasizing sustainability and a reduced environmental footprint when it comes freight, logistics and supply chain practices. How one gets to sustainable logistics operations varies, but there are a number of best practices to serve as a roadmap. 10 Sustainable Logistics Practices Assess your logistics operations to see where sustainability improvements can be made Use the most environmentally friendly freight mode (or modes) possible Create/route loads through distribution locations based on proximity to avoid unnecessary miles Optimize routes to minimize travel distance and possible congestion/idle time Ensure containers/trailers are full to avoid wasting energy transporting partial loads or even empty containers Enroll in EPA SmartWay program to track emissions & fuel efficiency, and improve upon them Make data-based decisions by collecting and analyzing freight and logistics industry data Explore green technology usage where possible Improve yard operations so products are efficiently staged and processed, loaded and unloaded without unnecessary delay or confusion Track loads in transit for both efficiency and ability to adjust routes on the fly  Where to begin with this list? How about at the beginning, as it all starts with a deeper understanding of your current operations. Identifying where to implement changes is the first step to sustainable logistics. As for why to make this shift, it should be self explanatory. But even beyond the environmental necessity, making your logistics practices more sustainable also makes them more efficient, saving you money and time.

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Logistics & Supply Chain

Can Sustainability Be Profitable?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 18th, 2022

Aside from the most noble reason a company may implement sustainability practices - care for the environment - those concerned with the bottom line will get on board only if doing so is profitable. The good news is, companies can have their cake and eat it too in this regard, as sustainability most certainly can be profitable. While there are often up-front costs associated with sustainability efforts, those costs tend to be investments that pay off, whether with immediate dividends or longer term profits. And depending on how far a company goes to develop sustainable operations, profits can come from multiple avenues. A more sustainable operation is simply good modern day business in just about any industry, including freight and logistics.  

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Logistics & Supply Chain

What Is a Circular Supply Chain?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 15th, 2022

A circular supply chain involves a company reusing or repurposing waste and customer returns to convert those into new or refurbished products. A circular supply chain aims to minimize the use of raw materials and minimize discarded waste materials. Because of this reuse, unlike the traditional linear supply chain model, the circular supply chain does not stop at the customer but rather moves in a continuous cycle. With sustainability a greater concern than ever for businesses and customers, many companies are shifting to a circular supply chain. There are variations on circular supply chain models, but the philosophy of minimizing waste and environmental impact are consistent throughout companies who use them.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Freight Broker | Logistics Service Provider

What Is SmartWay Certified?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 13th, 2022

When looking into carriers and freight brokers to determine if environmental impact matters to them, whether or not they are SmartWay certified is a strong indicator. The program - founded in 2004 by the EPA - allows companies to become SmartWay certified partners through measuring, benchmarking and improving freight transportation efficiency - indicating a focus on supply chain sustainability. SmartWay certified partners can be shippers, carriers or logistics companies, while those not directly involved in freight can become affiliates. The SmartWay program includes three core elements: The SmartWay Transport Partnership - Freight & logistics companies (and affiliates) can become SmartWay certified by participating in this voluntary program, committing to reduce their environmental footprint. The SmartWay Brand - Partners can share SmartWay branding to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, plus transport equipment featuring SmartWay Verified Technologies meets standards of efficiency which save money & fuel - reducing environmental impacts. SmartWay Global Collaboration - This collaboration harmonizes sustainability accounting methods in freight and logistics with national and global organizations as well as global policymakers. InTek Freight & Logistics is among the nearly 4,000 motor carriers and freight logistics providers who count themselves as SmartWay certified, committing to sustainable efforts.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | International & Cross Border Logistics

How Does Global Warming Affect Shipping and Transportation?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 11th, 2022

Global warming is expected to affect shipping and transportation in a variety of ways - with some of those effects already being felt. Perhaps the most obvious shipping method to be affected by global warming is ocean freight, with impacts including sea level rise on ports, stronger storms and - on the other side of the ledger - melting ice caps opening previously unpassable shipping lanes. But those rising temperatures and more extreme weather can also affect other forms of transportation. Infrastructure like roads, bridges, railways and airports are susceptible to temperature-related wear and tear. Plus, hotter temperatures can make the vehicles themselves - trucks, ships, trains and planes - less efficient and more likely to overheat. And those hotter temperatures mean more loads may require temperature-controlled shipping to avoid spoilage.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | International & Cross Border Logistics

Are ports prepared for sea level rise?

By: Kevin Baxter
April 8th, 2022

The potential impacts of climate change are many, but one that particularly affects ports is sea level rise. With oceans projected to rise 10-12 inches in the next 30 years on U.S. coastlines, ports must be prepared for both the day-to-day impacts and those when storms strike. Why should the average shipper or consumer be concerned about this? Because between 90 and 100% of all international freight passes through ocean ports. If major ports are unprepared for sea level rise, it will have major consequences on domestic and global supply chains. So that begs the question: Are ports prepared for sea level rise? The answer is, it depends. Some, like Los Angeles, seem well prepared, some are in the process of preparing and others may find themselves sunk. Regardless, there are steps ports can take to mitigate the impact of sea level rise.

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Logistics & Supply Chain | Logistics Service Provider | International & Cross Border Logistics

Air Freight vs Ocean Freight Carbon Footprint & Environmental Impact

By: Kevin Baxter
April 6th, 2022

When moving loads overseas, shippers have two options: air freight and ocean freight. And while there are factors like cost and speed to consider when choosing between modes, another key element that should go into shipping strategy is a shipping method's carbon footprint, AKA environmental impact. Comparing air freight vs. ocean freight - or sea freight if you prefer - purely based on carbon footprint reveals that moving cargo by ship offers significant advantages over doing so by plane. Depending on the statistics you cite, long-haul air freight can generate 47 times as much greenhouse gas emissions as ocean freight, per ton-mile. Put another way, airplanes emit 500 grams of CO2 per metric ton of freight per kilometer of transportation, while container ships emit only 10 to 40 grams of CO2 per kilometer. However, the overall environmental impact of air freight versus sea freight is a bit more cloudy.

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