3 Ways to Build Ethical Supply Chains Using Logistics Tech

As supply chain shortages persist, shipper priorities are changing—and ethical supply chains are becoming more critical than ever. While cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and flexibility have long been top of mind for shippers, mounting customer attention toward sustainability and social equity is reshaping industry behavior.

From workers’ rights to green energy, the public conscience is placing greater emphasis on ethical business practices—and shippers must adapt. Consumers are increasingly basing buying decisions on businesses’ and suppliers’ sustainability. For manufacturers, carriers, and suppliers across the globe, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) excellence is now necessary.

Creating ethical supply chains can seem impossible amid delays, looming labor strikes, and troubling economic conditions. However, logistics technology can satisfy ESG initiatives and prove themselves worthy supply chain partners—without sabotaging growth goals.

Ethical supply chains using powerful technology

Technology is a beacon of light in the complex social and environmental sustainability sphere. Supply chain technology lightens logistics workloads while making supply chains more environmentally friendly and socially conscious. Forward-thinking business leaders believe that integrating sustainability and social causes with technology will result in long-term business success.

These are three ways to support a greener future with technology and attract the respect of business partners.

  1. Conserve fuel with efficient routing and delivery.

Fuel and energy usage is one of the most significant environmental concerns and is responsible for about three-quarters of carbon emissions in the US. Air freight consumes tremendous amounts of fuel, produces substantial carbon emissions, and is frequently criticized by environmental activists. Ethical supply chains must include fuel conservation, and logistics technology can lead us toward a greener future.

A TMS can plan every shipment detail before it goes out, including route optimization, so carriers travel the shortest path and minimize fuel consumption. If unexpected obstacles threaten delays, logistics technology can support efficient shifts between shipping modes—limiting fuel and transportation time.

Through its sophisticated algorithms, a TMS maximizes freight load space and minimizes fuel consumption. Consolidating shipments based on size, weight, and carrier capacity reduce cost and emissions.

  1. Reduce paper usage with digital workflows.

Logistics management requires paperwork—and lots of it. From purchase orders to invoices, documents can quickly take a huge environmental toll, especially as shippers scale. But logistics technology removes the need for paper by automating and digitizing document workflows from start to finish.

A TMS is an all-in-one document repository, holding bills of lading, delivery receipts, backup documentation, customs documents, and other critical documentation. Shippers can share digital documents with customers and file claims electronically, saving trees and increasing processing efficiency directly from a TMS.

Invoicing is another logistics task with a heavy paper load. A sustainable invoicing process is a convenient tactic to limit a carbon footprint. With a freight audit and payment system, shippers can store, review, and send out electronic invoices—removing the need for printed bills and time-consuming searches for payment information. 

  1. Choose suppliers and carriers with shared values.

Ethical supply chains require a commitment from every partner along the supply line. Companies can commit by examining their supplier and carrier relationships to uncover whether their partners are in tandem with their environmental and social equity goals. If some partners do not support ethical practices, they can seek new relationships with different supply and transport partners, which will require flexibility.

A TMS provides access to a network of thousands of carriers to optimize carrier selection based on the shipping mode that minimizes time to delivery. Access to the carrier network enables seamless transitions to new carriers. Carrier contracts can be stored for easy reference, providing complete transportation oversight, and automating carrier communications.

ESG initiatives with a like-minded partner

Consumer opinions and ideals are changing, affecting supply chains and upper management decision-making. But this doesn’t mean shippers must abandon growth, budget, and efficiency goals. With the right technology and support, shippers can accomplish it all.

At CTSI-Global, we embed ESG principles into our daily operations. These green practices include conserving energy in the office, promoting travel alternatives, and helping our clients use technology to create sustainable supply chains.

The CTSI-Global technology suite works across multiple shipping modes—including parcel, ocean, rail, air, and truckload shipping—and provides complete visibility into mileage and delays. Using our Honeybee TMS™, shippers can save energy and up to 30% in shipping costs, lowering carbon emissions as they strive for growth.

Expand your order volumes while supporting the values that matter. Contact CTSI-Global today.