Saving money and protecting the environment while shipping smarter

As the average price of diesel goes up every day and the importance of the climate change grows, the concern of companies about the shipping costs is greater everyday. That’s why the department of transportation of the US has presented a new report in which new shipping practices used by big companies that reduce both cost and pollution are presented.

The global freight transportation and distribution system cause more than 3 billion carbon emission each year. From the supply chain logistics, transportation accounts for 89% of the total pollution effects. The forecasts are very worrying as the USA will increase the use of transportation fuels a 74% from 2005 to 2035 and China more than a 320%. This is why it’s important that companies take action in order to change the future. Some of them have already started changing the path and the stories can be found in this report called Smart moves.

Since 2003 Nike has been using a cargo shift shipping from Asia to North America via ocean container ship instead of by air. This move has helped Nike to save lots of millions (8$ million only in 2009) and according to forecast it will help to attain the 30% reduction in carbon emission of the company by 2020.

Wall-mart, the big supermarket chain in the US, is another company that has made changes. It has eliminated steps in the distribution chain with many brands. For example Minute maids are shipped directly form the production facilities to the Wall-mart distribution centers. Eliminating the minute maid distribution center form the chain Wall-mart has reduced its emissions by 1500 metric tons annually.

Ikea is trying to ‘’get the most out of each move’’ by deeply studying the packaging of its products in order to fit the greatest quantity of items in each system eliminating the unused space. Little changes in packaging lead to an increase in the pallets and a reduction in the C02 EMISSIONS. Another company that is making changes in the packaging is Cisco. By not including a hard-copy user guide with the IP pones they have increase the number of pones that can be shipped in each shipment.

The aim of the report is to make companies react and copy their competitors which are already using shipping systems in which cost are reduced but also are environmentally responsible. These examples and many others proved that sustainable shipping systems can also represent a great cost reduction for the companies.

By: Nil Puigmacia
Referenced by: Forbes

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