Sustainable Shipping Solutions for a Dispersed Business World
Consumer trends will always influence enterprise operations, and consumers who value sustainability features are most moved by quantifiable action, such as a company’s use of sustainable materials or environmentally responsible manufacturing — to the tune of 42% for each feature. These consumers are less driven by carbon offset programs and low carbon output delivery, at 29% and 32%, respectively. Recent advances in packaging materials are making sustainable shipping practices more economically beneficial.
With sustainability trends influencing market shifts, companies keen to capitalize on the changes must anticipate and adjust to customer preferences. Offering easy options for sustainable, streamlined production, packaging, and shipping is key to future success.
The dispersion effect
All these trends have converged to alter consumer expectations — and enterprise operations — in recent years. With the desire for quick delivery and the rising demand for environmental responsibility, balancing speed and sustainability is an enormous challenge for businesses. And the increase in remote and hybrid work models affects commercial purchasing and shipping as well. Consider the logistics of an enterprise-wide technology upgrade for a globally distributed workforce. Even a relatively simple equipment exchange means orchestrating shipment, delivery, and returns to multiple residential locations around the world.
One notable byproduct of remote and hybrid work models is the increase in employees moving away from homes in densely populated urban areas to more sparsely populated suburban and even rural areas. A surprising 32% of adults have decided to move in the next year to year and a half, with up to 33% of those moving to less populous areas. The implications of this trend are both logistical and environmental. Efficient, sustainable delivery practices are essential for managing costs, time, and environmental impact in a more dispersed business world.
Best practices for sustainable shipping
As environmental sustainability moves up the corporate priority list, and shipping volumes continue to increase, enterprise solutions should focus on best practices in the following operations:
- Sustainable delivery. Choose shipping partners with sustainable delivery strategies, such as strategic route planning and low- or zero-emission vehicles.
- Sustainable packaging. Packaging strategies include a range of options for reducing waste and environmental impact. Eco-friendly packaging reduces your company’s carbon footprint, but sustainable packaging is also about identifying the right package size for a shipment and more efficient use of package space (e.g., multiple item arrangement within a box).
- Order consolidation. Combining multiple items into fewer shipments is an easy adjustment with the potential for significant impact. A consolidated shipping strategy reduces package waste and carbon emissions from multiple deliveries to the same destination.
- Smart shipping technology. A scalable, integrated SaaS management platform provides real-time data for greater visibility and drives efficient, sustainable shipping decisions.
From environmentally conscious production to low-emissions delivery, sustainability improvements are possible. Production technology, such as digital printing, and smaller, redesigned packaging is reducing waste while maintaining — if not improving — aesthetics and functionality.
Technology, innovation, and continuous improvement offer greener, more efficient options for production, packaging, and shipping operations.