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What Are Sustainable Logistics Practices?

April 20, 2022 Kevin Baxter

Sustainable Logistics

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

  1. Assess your logistics operations to see where sustainability improvements can be made
  2. Use the most environmentally friendly freight mode (or modes) possible
  3. Create/route loads through distribution locations based on proximity to avoid unnecessary miles
  4. Optimize routes to minimize travel distance and possible congestion/idle time
  5. Ensure containers/trailers are full to avoid wasting energy transporting partial loads or even empty containers
  6. Enroll in EPA SmartWay program to track emissions & fuel efficiency, and improve upon them
  7. Make data-based decisions by collecting and analyzing freight and logistics industry data
  8. Explore green technology usage where possible
  9. Improve yard operations so products are efficiently staged and processed, loaded and unloaded without unnecessary delay or confusion
  10. 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.

What is the meaning of green logistics?

Green logistics means any attempt to minimize the environmental impact of logistics activities. Also known as sustainable logistics or eco-logistics, the emphasis of green logistics is on sustainability and ecological efficiency. A commitment to green logistics offers benefits including environmental responsibility, supply chain efficiency, cost savings, company reputation and the ability to forge new partnerships to name just some. The strategies noted above regarding sustainable logistics apply to green logistics as well. On top of those, companies should consider the circular supply chain model when incorporating returns.

If you're ready to take the next step, at InTek Freight & Logistics, we can help. Just tell us what you need and we'll discuss how our expertise can help with the unique shipping challenges your business faces. Rather do a bit more research first? View our Freight Guides for comprehensive articles and eBooks on all things freight and logistics.

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