Sustainable Shipping is Unavoidable. Make it Smart

Organizations are now working to invest in more renewable resources and reduce the effects of climate change on our planet. As this global effort toward sustainability continues, stainable shipping will be a priority for transport infrastructure. Companies are looking for supply chain solutions that are sustainable as well as economical. For suppliers, this means investing in sustainable manufacturing practices. But for shippers, this means investing in green energy and conserving resources wherever possible. As shippers work to consider more sustainable shipping practices, prioritization of energy-efficient infrastructure is paramount to results.

Sustainable transport

Shipping has one of the most impactful carbon footprints on our planet, and one way to reduce this impact is to invest in fuels that produce fewer greenhouse emissions. The International Maritime Organization aims to cut emissions by 50% by 2050, and they’re doing so primarily by investing in wind power and solar power.

Freight transport produces 7% of greenhouse gas emissions. To tackle this problem, a group of companies wrote the 2017 Sustainable Fuel Buyers’ Principles, a framework that encourages the prioritization of green energy. Many companies have signed the Principles, including Amazon, DHL, PepsiCo, and Walmart. To meet the objectives of the Principles, participating companies must invest in energy innovation. For example, UPS recently announced an investment in 200 electric trucks. Converting freighting infrastructure to an electric or hybrid model can have an enormous impact on reducing the carbon footprint of moving freight. Shippers can work together to encourage more collective action, appealing to governments and supply chain leaders.

According to FEMA’s Supply Chain Resilience Guide, supply chains are most adaptive when shippers collaborate with the public sector. Regardless of company size, appealing to government leaders can be impactful. Energy conservation is the foundation of sustainable shipping, and collaboration is key to developing lasting solutions.

Green highways and waterways

Less congested highways and ports make for more functional and more sustainable transport. For example, the Green Highways Partnership, a program launched by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Highway Administration, collaborates with companies and government agencies to utilize recycled materials, protect native habitats and decongest highway routes. Railways and waterways can apply this same logic. Efficient transportation infrastructure saves energy, which means fewer vehicles are on the road. Shippers can collaborate with organizations like the EPA to develop lasting solutions for sustainable shipping.

Eco-friendly packaging

The fastest, most convenient deliveries sometimes come with the most unnecessary and wasteful packaging. Shippers can promote sustainable shipping by considering whether their volume needs to move in bubble mailers, plastic bags, or boxes within boxes. Shippers can also invest in eco-friendly, compostable packaging and develop practices that consolidate shipments. These investments may cost more in the short term, but green shipping can reduce costs in the long run. Fewer materials reduce expenses.

Localize and diversify supply chains

In addition to investing in sustainable transport models, supply chain infrastructure with sustainable shipping is yet another way to reduce the effects on our planet. Supply chain diversification and localization are risk management necessities in a disrupted market. Still, it also can help to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping. Shorter supply chains require less cargo movement and less energy waste. Expanding supplier and carrier networks helps shorten supply chains, as more extensive networks allow supply chains to localize. Localized supply chains conserve resources, and shippers can work to localize their volume by developing more long-term relationships with local carriers. CTSI-Global’s Honeybee TMS provides access to over 20,000 carriers so that shippers can expand their networks and find the most energy-efficient routes. As shippers expand their networks, having access to quality data makes all the difference. Visibility promotes efficiency, and efficiency encourages energy conservation. Contact CTSI-Global to discuss the tools your company needs to conserve energy and promote sustainable shipping.