Walking the Fine Line: How Logistics-powered Businesses Can Align Environment and Business Goals

September 27, 2022 | By CXO Outlook

Ever since the environmental alarm bells started going off with climatic disasters, consumers, investors, businesses, and policymakers have begun taking climate change seriously. They are actively looking to cut their carbon footprint and move towards a more sustainable way of functioning. In fact, consumers are the torch bearers in driving this change showing an inclination towards sustainable practices. Studies reveal that 85% of consumers have become more eco-friendly in their purchases in recent years and prefer brands that prioritize sustainable practices across the value chain. Simply put, businesses can’t hit a snooze button on sustainability anymore.

The logistics industry is one of the biggest contributors to global GHG emissions and has a huge scope for improvement. Embracing practices like planting trees is one way to offset the effects of a company’s carbon emissions. But it’s a long road before the benefits begin to actualize. Adopting a proactive approach to mitigating logistical activities’ effects on the go works best here. It helps make an impact in real-time, improve brand reputation, and unlock new opportunities by opening avenues to partner with businesses having similar values for a mutually beneficial relationship. Let’s look at the best practices and technologies that can empower logistics-powered businesses in achieving sustainability goals.

Creating a Harmonious Relation Between Logistics Operations &  Environment

Clearly, striking a balance between logistics operations and the environment is crucial. Using alternative sources of energy, planning deliveries well in advance, and order consolidation are good ways to start. Besides, smart logistics management systems can optimize logistics operations to foster sustainability goals. Here’s how:

Optimizing Routes to Reduce Miles Travelled

Navigating to diverse delivery/pickup touchpoints is both a time and fuel-consuming affair. A well-planned delivery route will definitely bear better results than depending on the driver’s impulse/discretion. Dynamic route optimizers smartly combine en-route pickups and deliveries. They help reduce miles traveled by 5%, prevent vehicle idling, eliminate empty miles, and shrink trip volumes by 6%. Optimized routes result in better delivery productivity and lesser carbon emissions.

AI-powered delivery management systems prioritize eco-friendly transportation modes such as EVs, bicycles, autonomous vehicles, etc., to execute short-distance delivery operations. The system will automatically assign the modes mentioned above for deliveries within five kilometers or the range fed by the delivery managers.

Enhancing Address Quality to Lower Returns

For courier, express, and parcel delivery providers, lack of address accuracy is one of the biggest challenges that lead to returns. This mostly happens with unclear, handwritten addresses that do no good in leading the driver to the correct delivery location. This means greater fuel consumption and unnecessary CO2 emissions.

Geocoding fixes this by converting poor-quality addresses into system-readable precise coordinates (latitude-longitude). It becomes easier for the GPS to locate the destination and lead the driver to the correct location. On-time delivery translates to lesser returns and helps save the logistical efforts to go in waste.

Improve Capacity Utilization To Boost Vehicle Productivity

AI-powered logistics management tools sync vehicle and consignment data. The system also gauges different parameters, such as delivery location, the total weight of the shipments, time SLAs, storage type, etc., to accurately pick the best fleet for delivery execution. It predicts how many orders of what size can fit into the single delivery mode. Such innovative tools increase vehicle capacity utilization by 31% and reduce vehicle wear and tear and safety incidents due to overload. When fleet capacity is utilized to the optimum levels, the volume of trips will be lesser, and so will the overall carbon footprint of logistical operations.

Additionally, vehicles that aren’t well-maintained tend to contribute more to the overall CO2 emissions. Regular oil changes, engine checks, and vehicle maintenance will ensure minimal emissions. Maintaining optimum speed is also a great way to control emissions.  For instance, research shows that fuel consumption is 28% higher at 100kph than 80kph due to air resistance. Following best driving practices can have a huge impact on the mileage.

Combining Orders to Lower Trip Volumes

Logistics management tools consider drivers’ current workload, order volume, delivery route, and proximity to the delivery location to assign them more tasks on the fly. The system intelligently combines pickups and deliveries to help the drivers increase their delivery output by 14%.

Proactively Tracking Carbon Footprint to Ensure Compliance

Cross-border eCommerce volumes are growing globally. Increasing goods movement means more emissions. However, businesses can control the carbon footprint of their logistical activities if they can proactively monitor such metrics. Sustainability dashboards empower enterprises to gain visibility into tank-to-wheel and well-to-wheel emissions even before the shipment journey begins. It tracks emissions across the shipment lifecycle and highlights areas that need immediate attention. Route optimization and planning engines can smartly plan logistics operations to reduce shipment returns by 18%.

Sustainable logistics operations bring more value to businesses than simply fostering efficiencies and profitability. As global supply chains and customers increasingly become environmentally cautious, taking the sustainability route is no longer an alternative – it will be the way of logistics operations in the future.




Read Article Source: https://www.cxooutlook.com/

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