Green Logistics: Strategies for Sustainable Transportation and Reduced Emissions

  • 28 March 2024
  • 6 Min Read

Green Logistics is perceived more as an opportunity, than an executive mandate! Even consumers give advantage to products flaunting an environmentally friendly distribution system for abatement of commitments towards green earth.

Why a Sustainable Supply Chain?

Supply chain is the spine of a business model, involuntarily it determines the robustness of an organization. Since it is the most complex system of a business, a seamless syncing of all the operations of supply chain management is a must. Unless there is a smooth flow of communication and uninterrupted exchange of information, there are going to be misunderstandings, missed opportunities and gradual dwindling of presence in the market. More so, because eCommerce is hugely dependent on the supply chain for its momentum, success and impressive return on investments (RoI). Post COVID-19 pandemic, eCommerce has grown in prominence as consumers enjoy the convenience and comfort of conjoined offline and online modes of shopping.

Given the situation, the complete process needs to be sustainable to reduce carbon footprint and push sustainability. Supply chain operations begin from procurement of raw materials, transporting to manufacturing units, packaging, transferring to warehouses, storage or warehousing, or transfer to third party warehouses for distribution to other vendors, taking orders, syncing multiple points of sales for order fulfillment till the last mile delivery. At each juncture a record has to be maintained on unit circulation and the market response, each step can leave a carbon imprint. Supply chain sustainability supported by carbon-neutral logistics ensures optimization of routes and other resources for creating a balance between human and environment by reducing the impact of carbon in accomplishing a task.

What is Green Logistics?

Green logistics or eco-friendly transportation is minimizing use of fuel by including environment-friendly modes of transportation. It promotes sustainable practices for supply chain and logistics management to lower carbon emission in the environment. The aim is to minimize adverse effects of logistics operations arising from transportation, inventory management, warehousing, packaging, distribution and others; and create a carbon-free space. Make strategies and formulate plans for adopting sustainable logistics technology for lessening carbon footprint, emphasize on smart ways of energy consumption, management of depletion of resources during the supply chain process and most importantly proper disposal of waste generated.

Importance of Sustainability in Logistics and Transportation

There is a growing demand for experts working arduously towards finding profitable ways to integrate green cargo solutions and supply chain management. It is a daunting step but holds a lot of promise for scaling up the business and taking it to the next level. Recent trend shows, consumers also prefer companies with environmentally friendly policies and options.

Sustainability in logistics and transportation is of utmost prominence in the supply chain as it is the channel of connectivity from the point of origin to the last point of delivery or consumption. This is inclusive of all the big and small operations that build the entire system of supply chain. It is never too late to begin and take the lead. Since, going green is an ongoing process, and undergoing a lot of improvisation, taking a plunge is important and is a smart move.

  • A seamless coordination between the departments through continuous exchange of information.
  • Real-time updates on requirements and movement of raw materials, order generation/fulfillment, inventory management, warehousing, and logistics.
  • Smart ways for route optimization and maximizing shipping solutions.
  • Tracking and tracing of items for making informed decisions and minimizing repeated traversing on the same route.
  • Adopt green shipping methods such as EV vehicles, water transport, train freight, bulk delivery, or local delivery via cycles.

A cumulative effort is required to witness a change in air quality and global warming. eCommerce holds a lot of promises if explored with positive intentions as part of company policies. Green shipping methods are profitable as well. Some of the perceivable benefits of implementing sustainability in logistics and transportation—

  • Faster delivery of cargo as congestion can be avoided
  • Low Fuel consumption can bring down costs considerably
  • Waste reduction makes supply chain management more cost-effective
  • Saves time and labor that can be invested in R&D
  • Works on the reputation
  • Builds strong relationships and trust with the end consumers
  • In sync with government policies and regulations toward achieving environmental goals

A sustainable supply chain is gradually becoming an accepted norm and the sooner the companies integrate it into the system, the better the prospects.

Technology for Achieving Green Logistics and Eco-friendly Transportation Options

With increasing concern and awareness for implementing measures of sustainability in operations management, technology can be a big savior. Integrating operations of supply chain management and making it accessible via a single window makes a lot of difference. Real-time visibility and access to information help in faster coordination among the departments and quicker decision-making, especially related to logistics and transportation.

Take for instance, raw materials need to be transported from one location to another and there is an availability of train freight, logistics, and shipping can exchange information with the manufacturing unit. This speeds up the process, and there is energy conservation and a lowering of carbon emissions. The real-time connection provides enough data for cost-effective, environment-friendly ways for order fulfillment. With track and trace of an item, environmentally friendly distribution methodology can be worked out by collaborating with 3PLs or clubbing orders of the same location.

Third-party logistics or 3PLs is one of the most effective carbon reduction strategies and eco-friendly transportation options. A few more green cargo solutions could be:

  • Central locker for pick-up & return
  • Pick-up from the nearest store
  • Combining orders for a single delivery
  • With AI and Machine Learning, shopping options can be shared with the consumer based on individual shopping history at the exit. This saves multiple transportation and builds good customer relations as well

Advatix Cloudsuite™: Meet the Green Logistics Supply Chain

Advatix Cloudsuite™, offers unadulterated, filtered green logistics supply chain solutions for sustainable eCommerce businesses. It offers end-to-end transport management services which provide enough mileage for environmentally friendly transportation. The data analytics and insights provide real-time visibility through dashboards. It further assists in routing, planning and optimization.