4 Tips for a Greener Shipping Strategy
Joe Dickman | June 15th, 2020
Though many companies focus on how to manufacture products without hurting the environment, their shipping methods and materials also affect their overall environmental impact. Luckily, there are several tips for a greener shipping strategy that can drive down your company’s carbon footprint.
Invest in a Lightweight Fleet
The gasoline your vehicles consume shipping your product is a significant chunk of your company’s total impact. To prevent harmful exhaust emissions from clogging the atmosphere, consider purchasing vehicles built to strategically weigh less. The lower the weight of a van or truck, the easier it is for the vehicle’s engine to propel it forward and the higher its overall miles per gallon. In all, this increased efficiency translates to fewer fill-ups, less gasoline consumed, and money saved as an added bonus.
Emerald Transportation Solutions specializes in providing specifically lightweight, eco-friendly vehicles for this purpose and offer everything from small refrigerated trucks to insulated vans for temperature-regulated shipping.
Use Recycled/Recyclable Boxes
Another tip for a greener shipping strategy is to use recycled or recyclable boxes for your products. Inquire about your packaging’s classification—there are a couple of designations that help you determine if it would truly be environmentally friendly to use. These include the lauded Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) designation for responsibly sourced paper products. Also, the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) designation illustrates the packaging includes safe adhesives.
As you look to fill your packages to keep everything intact, leave Styrofoam behind. There are several fibrous, recyclable filling materials that function as effectively as this styrene substance without the consequences of its use. These includes Styrofoam’s propensity to break down into small pieces animals inadvertently consume and the extremely long time it and other petroleum-based plastics take to break down.
Offset Your Carbon Impact
One final note—if you struggle to find a way to diminish your direct environmental impact, consider an indirect means: offsetting your carbon footprint. To make it simpler, the Carbon Fund offers a tool for calculating your shipment footprint and finds causes you can support so you end up carbon neutral in the end. These range from tree-planting missions in certain countries to wind farm initiatives and so much more.
Feel Free To Contact Us If You Have Any Questions
What does under DOT mean?
Questions regarding DOT requirements come up often. 10,000 lbs GVW (gross vehicle weight) and over are commercial vehicles that fall under the Department of Transportation regulatory requirements.
What is the difference between GVW and payload?
GVW or Gross Vehicle Weight is the entire weight of the vehicle including the payload. The payload weight represents the amount of cargo you are hauling.
What is a self-powered unit and a vehicle-powered unit?
A self-powered unit has its own fuel source and will run independent of the truck. This is the heaviest and most expensive option. While vehicle-powered units run off the engine via a compressor mounted on the engine. These are less expensive and lighter in weight but you must run the truck or plug the electric standby into shore power.
What does K-factor mean and why is that important?
K-factor is a term that stands for the overall insulating value of the container (truck body). Quite simply the lower the K-factor the better the truck body will be able to maintain a given temperature and require less energy to do so.
How much lighter is a Poly Van vs a US spec body?
Poly Van bodies are very light. On average we estimate we are 75-150 lbs per foot lighter than a traditional sheet and post foamed in place body. These weight savings translates to less fuel burn and less CO2 emissions, along with added payload, the most important benefit.