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What Is Green Logistics?

Image depicting green logistics

A good product or service cannot win your consumers’ favor alone. Over the last few years, there has been a trend of customers preferring to purchase from retailers and brands committed to sustainability.

According to a survey, 8 out of 10 consumers are willing to pay more for green delivery.

Another survey found that environmental protection is a crucial factor for customer satisfaction. 66% of 23,000 respondents who participated in the survey said they prefer buying from brands and retailers who address their responsibility in environmental protection.

In other words, the key reasons for moving towards green logistics are two-fold- saving the environment and winning over customers.

Sustainable last-mile delivery can help improve your brand image and bottom line while helping you stay ahead of the competition.

In this article, we’ll look at what green logistics is, the benefits of green logistics, and the best practices you can adopt to create an eco-friendly service.

What Is Green Logistics?

Green logistics, also known as eco-logistics, is defined as efforts to measure and minimize the environmental impact of logistics activities. It builds upon the foundation laid by traditional logistics.

In traditional logistics, the focus is only on operations and least or zero on the environment.

However, the green mile logistics is about improving both the operations and sustainability of a business.

Green logistics isn’t just limited to a single standard of practice. It varies depending on the industry and business you operate in.

For example, Activewear retailer Patagonia builds repair centers across the globe to lower its carbon footprint, while Johnson & Johnson runs a fleet of hybrid vehicles to neutralize carbon emissions.

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Why Should You Go Green?

There are many advantages of green logistics. It can help you increase sales, reduce expenses and carbon footprint.

Reduce Expenses

Green logistics reduce overall energy consumption, which in the long run, reduces expenses. This can be seen in delivery routes.

When you prioritize sustainability in your operations, you can reduce the time and mileage spent performing the same amount of deliveries. This reduction also helps the same drivers make more deliveries on the same run and increase profitability.

For example, Procter & Gambles’s green logistics initiatives included improving capacity planning. This meant ensuring all trucks are fully loaded as well as moving distribution centers closer to customers. With this, they were able to save close to $1bn and drastically reduce wastage.

Make Carbon Neutral Last-Mile Delivery

The transportation sector is the major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the US, standing at 29%. As the pandemic has increased the demand for online shopping and subsequently last-mile delivery, transportation emissions have continued to rise.

This only reinstates the benefits of moving towards green logistics to make carbon-neutral last-mile delivery.

Increase Sales

Shoppers are more concerned about the environment than ever, and their purchasing habits reflect that.

According to IBM’s report, around 80% of consumers consider sustainability is critically important. 60% of consumers have also said they may change their purchasing habits to cut down on environmental impact.

So, it is evident that whether you are an eCommerce company or a brick-and-mortar business, you need to prioritize sustainability to stay ahead in the race and improve revenue.

Green Logistics Strategies

Businesses in all types of industries can benefit from green logistics strategies. Common sustainability logistics activities include improving warehouse efficiency, adjusting product sourcing, and optimizing routes.

Make Your Warehouse Energy Efficient

Using sustainable strategies in your warehouse’s daily operations can reduce your energy usage. Warehouses use 6.1KW of energy on average, and the number can be much more if you use refrigeration.

You can adopt a variety of green logistics strategies to reduce your energy consumption. For example, you can invest in green energy sources, such as wind or solar, to power your warehouses.

Also, you can scale down movements within your warehouse by optimizing picking plans. You can use an advanced route planner for pick and pack optimization. It can help your workers locate orders more efficiently no matter where they are located in your warehouse.

Learn how Route4Me can help you with pick-and-pack optimization.

Use Route Optimization Software

Another strategy you can use to ensure greener delivery operations is route optimization.

Planning and scheduling well-optimized routes will help cut down overall travel distance and greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel expenses.

With effective route optimization, your drivers will make more stops per run while covering fewer miles when compared to a less-than-optimal route. And less mileage means less greenhouse gas emissions and reduced fuel expenses.

Route optimization is often aided by route optimization software like Route4Me route planner.

It helps you plan well-optimized routes with driving directions for deliveries factoring in constraints like weather, traffic, left turns, vehicle capabilities, roadblocks, and delivery time windows to make sure your drivers can make on-time deliveries.

Companies like Hermes and Yodel, which deliver millions of parcels each year, even use route optimization software to calculate the most efficient routes to reduce carbon footprint.

Learn how to plan a route with multiple stops in 30 seconds.

Route4Me has prevented 10 billion miles from being driven and reduced CO2 emissions by over 10 Billion. And it cleaned up enough air, equal to planting more than 87 million trees. Learn more about Route4Me’s Environment and Sustainability (ESG) Initiatives.

Start Making Hyperlocal Deliveries

According to a study by Rakuten Intelligence, an average domestic package travels over a thousand miles before reaching its destination. This is astonishing when you consider that the same items may be available at a retail location just a few miles away from the customer.

If you can make hyper-local deliveries from local stores, it can reduce carbon emissions and help you get rid of inventory with a short shelf life. Grocery chains mainly can increase their sales using the deliver-from-store model.

However, you should have inventory visibility and healthy integration between order and inventory data to deliver directly from the store.

Offer Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup is a service that enables customers to collect their orders from a convenient location rather than delivering packages to their homes. The pickup location could be the curb outside of your store, warehouse, or anywhere else.

Here’s a quick guide to curbside pickup.

The difference between curbside pickup and hyperlocal delivery is that customers come to your locations, whereas in hyperlocal delivery, you send the orders from the local store nearest to the customers.

Both options are environmentally friendly because they reduce emissions.

Update Reverse Logistics Practices

Reverse logistics comes into the picture after a product has been delivered to a customer and refers to the process involved in returning the product to its origin, which is likely a distribution center or warehouse.

Optimizing your reverse logistics with delivery scheduling software in the same way you optimize your delivery practices can improve the sustainability and efficiency of your business.

Learn how to improve your reverse logistics process.

Invest in Electric Vehicles

Another way you can make your logistics sustainable is by investing in electric vehicles, which companies like UPS, FedEx, and Amazon have already begun to do.

DHL is even working on making 60% of their last-mile delivery vehicles electric by 2030.

Conclusion about Green Logistics

Green logistics help you reduce expenses, increase sales, and contribute to a cleaner environment for future generations. By adopting green distribution strategies, you can negate your carbon emissions and improve efficiency across your organization.

Route4Me

Want To See For Yourself How Route4Me Can Boost Your Profits?

Whether you want to slash the time it takes you to plan routes for your drivers, increase the number of stops they can make, or keep your customers satisfied knowing that your drivers show up on time… Route4Me helps you achieve that!

Start Free 7 Day Trial

Route4Me

About Route4Me

Route4Me has over 34,000 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.