Our world today is full of freight being sent across the city, the country or the ocean. Altogether, it accounts for a great portion of fuel use, environmental emissions and energy use. Not every transport company seeks to find ways and means to be environmentally friendly, yet it can actually reduce costs and make their business a great deal more efficient.
Determining the strategies for sustainability are not difficult. There are many ways in which packaging can be optimised.
- Analyse the shipping weight of various containers. Both crates and packaging materials add to the total weight. The more the packaging weighs the more your goods cost to send and the more resources are used to carry them to their destination.
- Look at shipping densities. Empty space that could be filled with more goods is costing the company in terms of wastage. One large box that is not filled to capacity costs more to send than one of the right size, due to oversized rates and the fact that more could be sent for the same amount of fuel used if that space was reduced.
- Observe the damage. There is always some wear and tear on boxes and crates. You need to find the fine line between damaged goods through not enough or the wrong type of packaging, and absolutely no damage to the box or its contents, which might point to over-packing that costs more than necessary.
- Research and investigation. This will lead to finding sustainable options for packaging your goods. Instead of using foam that takes a long time to break down in landfill and has toxicity problems, find the alternatives that are just as good or better, that can be reused in some way, break down quickly without leaving a toxic residue and are still light enough to be viable.
- When it comes to the containers used for freight, size, materials used and the structure are important factors. Packaging that gives the most protection is necessary for high ticket items, yet customers of cheaper goods still appreciate having them delivered in undamaged condition, viz. with good packaging. A change to stronger outer packaging could be of benefit. Or a change in the shape of the packaging can often do the trick. Moulded packaging can keep the goods safer and allow more per box, making it an efficient way to transport goods.
Benefits of sustainability
Being environmentally conscious is usually accompanied by a reduction in costs; good news for any business. When potential customers get to know you have sustainable practices in place, they are more likely to deal with you than a company that does not – at least, many people will – so your business will become more successful. And of course, the earth will benefit too.