Sustainable transportation options involve major adaptations to how communities move about, how products and goods are transported, and how future routes for transportation are developed. In the present day, individuals and businesses see how the current traditional modes of transportation use enormous amounts of energy, such as fossil fuels like gas, oil, and natural gas.
More people are becoming aware that these transportation systems are a significant source of pollution, which also affects the environment and causes health problems. These negative effects accumulate whenever there’s an unsustainable transportation mode running.
Although promising innovative technologies might be the solution, it would benefit the planet immensely if there are more eco-friendly transportation methods before such technologies even become available. Today, consumer demands extend to reducing the entire supply chain’s carbon footprint, which goes beyond manufacturing and production. The good thing is, there are many environmentally friendly ways to reduce a supply chain’s carbon footprint without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
For transportation businesses, there are greener options available. For example, freight shipping can be lessened in several ways. Here are some simple but highly recommended ways to keep the Earth green, including making your shipping budget more environmentally friendly:
1. Switch To Sea Transport
In terms of eco-friendliness, sea transport for goods is becoming an increasingly attractive option. Transport by sea is a popular mode for international routes, but it’s also one of the most environmentally friendly options.
As an initial step, the European Union has already begun to put in place means to ensure that the major ports in their region will be connected by 2020. This will reduce traffic congestion on the major roads between ports and offer an environmentally friendly and efficient method of travel.
The use of liquefied natural gas in ships is an excellent addition to make this option even greener. The most environmentally friendly of all fossil fuels, this fuel type does not pollute air or water and reduces carbon emissions by as much as 70%.
2. Use Sustainable Packaging
Another way for businesses to adopt greener goods transportation methods is to revamp their packaging. Sustainable packaging has been on the rise everywhere, from the elimination of single-use plastics to embracing reusable and eco-friendly PP woven bags and pouches as packages.
The following suggestions for packaging modification will help you reduce your carbon footprint:
- Consider reducing your cargo’s weight and size whenever possible. You can save container space by deflating soccer balls before shipping, for instance. Be careful to avoid designing packaging that wastes space or adds more bulk.
- Make sure packaging materials are biodegradable or recyclable. This doesn’t only reduce carbon emissions but overall environmental impact as well.
3. Consider Biodiesel Trucking
Fuel derived from vegetable or animal fats is known as biodiesel. Biodiesel is often made from soybean oil. Transesterification can also be used to convert cooking oil waste from restaurants into biodiesel. This traditional type of diesel fuel is used mainly by freight trucks. Due to diesel fuel combustion’s severe greenhouse effect, some transport companies are starting to use biodiesel as a way to reduce their carbon footprint.
By combining conventional diesel with biodiesel, freight trucks can reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Its environmental benefits can also be more significant if the biodiesel concentration is higher. In pure biodiesel, carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by 50%, and hydrocarbon emissions by as much as 70%. Since no engine modifications are required, switching to biodiesel is relatively simple. In addition, most trucks can immediately start running on it.
4. Avoid Air Freight As Much As Possible
Making your business go green is more than just a market trend. You can evaluate your freight systems now and consider shifting from air freight to other alternatives. The carbon emissions from air freight are about 40 to 50 times higher than those from ocean freight. Although air freight can be a good option for shipping goods sometimes, it significantly impacts the environment. If it seems impossible for your type of business, consider a carbon offset instead.
5. Utilize Foot Couriers
There is no doubt that foot couriers are the most environmentally friendly of all the transportation methods. But if you think it’s old-fashioned, Manhattan’s foot couriers are actually still very active.
This is because the increasing urbanization and stifling traffic encourages transport companies to deploy a fleet of foot couriers to deliver small packages faster. Not only do they reduce unnecessary fuel consumption by 100%, but they can also bypass painful traffic. For the couriers themselves, this is an eco-friendly alternative that will also benefit their physical health.
But aside from figuring out how to implement environmentally friendly alternatives, transportation companies should also find ways to encourage their consumers to help them reduce their carbon footprint.
6. Optimize And Plan Routes
Logistics companies that aim to reduce polluting gases can plan and optimize their shipment routes, adapting them to the circumstances. For example, if transportation times are arranged during hours with less traffic, with the shortest possible routes used, not only will emissions be reduced, but the business can also save time and resources.
Aside from that, logistics companies can also improve the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of their process by using low-rolling-resistance tires or aerodynamic trucks for transportation.
7. Consider Freight Trains
Transporting goods across the land is most fuel-efficient with trains. Transporting freight by train is two to four times more efficient than by truck, depending on the cargo, and a single freight train is equal to 280 truckloads. In the next decade, locomotive design and computer-aided train control will push fuel efficiency up by another 25% or more. Since 1980, train fuel efficiency has increased by 106%, and recent technological breakthroughs will increase that figure by another 25%.
Global population growth and resource depletion will make eco-friendly industrial solutions more critical as the world gets crowded. Transporting goods without much of a carbon footprint will lead to a cleaner and less polluted world. Use the tips mentioned above to make your transportation business go greener, and make your customers happier with your sustainable campaign while also contributing to a positive impact on the planet.