A Quick Guide to Carbon Neutral Shipping

Carbon neutral shipping concept

Carbon neutral shipping is the need of the hour. Carbon emissions making the climate worse. And the emissions will increase more in the coming days if no appropriate measures are implemented. Imagine the catastrophic situation we are getting into.

But how can you offer carbon-neutral shipping services? What are the key things you need to consider?

We answer all these and many more questions in this article.

What Is Carbon Neutral Shipping?

Carbon neutral shipping is a term used to describe all practices a company uses to lower its CO2 emissions. When appropriately executed, a shipping company can produce net-zero carbon dioxide or methane into the atmosphere.

These practices aim to reduce CO2 emissions caused by shipping packages. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely eradicate carbon emissions from shipping because most transportation companies still rely on fossil fuels to deliver packages. However, there are steps companies can take to achieve carbon-neutral shipping.

Why Are Companies Switching to Carbon Neutral Shipping?

A carbon-neutral shipping program can significantly reduce greenhouse gasses. Here are some reasons companies choose to migrate to a carbon-neutral program.

Consumers Care About The Environment

One of the reasons companies are switching to carbon-neutral transportation is because consumers care about their carbon footprint.

According to the Wallstreet Journal, we live in an age of activism, and surveys show that 62% of consumers feel strongly about tackling air pollution. What’s more, activism correlates to brand loyalty. As per the same study, 23% of consumers will buy from a company that shares their environmental values.

If you don’t adopt a carbon-neutral approach, you could risk losing your loyal customer base. So it’s crucial to find a strategy that will help reduce your shipping company’s carbon footprint.

Cost Saving and Revenue Opportunities

You can save on costs by curbing wasteful shipping practices, packaging, and power consumption.

In addition to saving costs, surveys show that 74% of consumers across the US, South America, and Europe would pay more for sustainable packaging.

Nearly a quarter of consumers stated they would spend 10% or more if the packaging were sustainable. This means you could significantly increase your profits by using recycled materials.


Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Make Your Delivery Operations Carbon Neutral?

Whether you want to plan fuel-efficient delivery routes, track fuel consumption, assign balanced workloads, or keep your customers updated about their delivery status to reduce the chances of failed deliveries… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


Protecting the Planet

You can become part of ethical companies that want to protect the planet. For example, the UPS carbon neutral shipping program contributes to projects that offset CO2 emissions. Additionally, DHL contributes to planet protection projects by buying carbon credits.

You can create your own carbon-neutral shipping strategy to stay ahead of your competitors and become a shipping company that takes impactful measures to protect the planet.

How to Make Your Delivery Operations Carbon Neutral

There are various ways you can become a carbon-neutral transportation company. However, you must find a program that works best for your business. To assist you, we’ve provided ways to help you lower your CO2 emissions.

Avoid Using Single-Use Plastic

Single-use plastic (SUPs) products are items you can only use once or for a short period. They are not biodegradable, and most small items can’t be recycled.

Shipping companies typically use SUPs such as bubble wrap to keep items safe while in transit. However, you can often avoid using bubble wrap and choose an effective alternative such as recycled craft paper.

You can even use corrugated bubble wrap made from shredded cardboard sheets. This type of packaging can be used to replace packing peanuts. The advantage is that corrugated bubble wrap is biodegradable and can be recycled.

Optimize Delivery Routes

Delivery vehicles are the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. And according to a report by the World Economic Forum, there will be a 32% increase in carbon emissions in the next decade. So, the future isn’t bright. Instead, it will be full of dark clouds.

One of the best ways to minimize carbon emissions is to reduce fuel consumption. An advanced route planner like Route4Me helps plan fuel-efficient routes within a minute.

The vehicle routing software considers weather, traffic, roadblocks, one-ways, left turns, and more constraints that could make your drivers stuck on the road or cover more miles than necessary, resulting in more fuel consumption.

Route4Me route planner even offers a reporting and analytics feature that helps you track fuel usage and control consumption accordingly.

Plus, it provides a GPS tracking feature to help you monitor your vehicle’s movements on the road and control reckless driving and any events that could lead to more fuel consumption. Learn the top ten benefits of GPS tracking.

Minimize Your Packaging

Packaging a small item in a large box is one of the most common mistakes shipping companies make because it can cost more money. Additionally, larger boxes take up more space, reducing the number of items you can transport daily. More efficient packaging can help create a successful carbon shipping plan because it allows you to make fewer trips.

Use specific pricing techniques such as dimensional weight. It would help calculate the amount of space an item takes up.

Comparing an item’s actual weight with its DIM weight helps decide how to charge for the parcel. This pricing structure ensures you don’t lose money for lightweight but bulky packages. It also enables you to minimize the amount of packaging, which also lowers CO2 emissions.

Consider Using Recycled or Recyclable Packaging

Since the rise in online shopping, more packing materials are needed to ship parcels. This leaves the consumer responsible for disposing of their waste. If you want to develop a carbon-neutral shipping company, consider using recycled or recyclable packaging.

Eco-friendly packaging can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some sustainable packaging options to choose from:

– Cardboard: Easy to recycle or reuse
– Biodegradable plastic: Packaging that breaks down faster
– Bioplastic: Made from plant-based materials and is suitable for making compost
– Air pillows: These are the perfect alternative to bubble wrap and are typically made from recycled material
– Plant fiber: Packaging that’s made from cotton or jute that can be reused and recycled

Purchase Carbon Offsets

Carbon offsets are financial contributions that some companies make toward an environmental project. These offsets are referred to as carbon credits. They are used to offset your company’s processes. The purpose is to compensate for CO2 emissions caused by shipping packages.

Long story short, purchasing carbon offsets can be the ideal way to make up for your emissions.

Switch to Electric Vehicles

Another way to reduce the use of fossil fuels is by migrating to electric vehicles. Consider if battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are suitable for your fleet. Then research the type of charging equipment you’ll need and execute it. Besides ultimately lowering carbon emissions, here are additional benefits of a fully electric fleet:

– Reduction in fuel cost
– Enhance vehicle performance and efficiency
– Low maintenance
– Safer to drive

Paperless Workflow

According to Science Direct, the carbon footprint of one A4 sheet of office paper ranges from 4.29 to 4.74 g CO2eq. So, another easy way you can become a carbon-neutral shipping company is to go fully digital with your paperwork.

You can switch to paperless or electronic proof of deliveries (ePODs) with the help of a route planner. Such software help collect digital signatures, capture images, and add notes.

Below are a few articles that we would recommend you to read to understand in detail how to make your delivery operations eco-friendly:

Final Thoughts about Carbon Neutral Shipping

With a carbon-reduction program, you can become one of the companies serious about fighting against climate change.

You will also have opportunities to reduce costs and increase your revenue. If you want to make your company carbon-neutral, leverage the information you learned in this guide and use a route planner.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Carbon Neutral Shipping

Here are a few most commonly asked questions about carbon-neutral shipping.

What is carbon offset shipping?

Carbon offset shipping is when you compensate for the CO2 emissions your company produces by funding or contributing to environmental projects. The purpose is to invest in ecosystems that fight against climate change.

How much does carbon-neutral shipping cost?

The cost of carbon-neutral shipping will add a few extra cents to your expenses. But the cost will depend on the type of carbon-neutral practices you take on.

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Help Make Your Delivery Operations Carbon Neutral?

Whether you want to plan fuel-efficient delivery routes, track fuel consumption, assign balanced workloads, or keep your customers updated about their delivery status to reduce the chances of failed deliveries… Route4Me helps you achieve that!


About author: Rahul Dasgupta

Rahul Dasgupta is a content writer with over 20 years of work experience. He holds a master’s degree in computer science and has written thousands of blog posts on route planning and scheduling, making it easy for readers to learn about these complex topics. Rahul enjoys playing tennis in his spare time and loves cuddling with his pet labrador Shinu. Rahul is a big fan of Roger Federer, Messi, and Bill Gates - he admires their drive to be the best at what they do and their philanthropic efforts.


About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 40,000 customers globally. Route4Me's Android and iPhone mobile apps have been downloaded over 2 million times since 2009. Extremely easy-to-use, Route4Me's apps create optimized routes, synchronize routes to mobile devices, enable communication with drivers and customers, offer turn-by-turn directions, delivery confirmation, and more. Behind the scenes, Route4Me's operational optimization platform combines high-performance algorithms with data science, machine learning, and big data to plan, optimize, and analyze routes of almost any size in real-time.