Ecological solutions in logistics are an increasing necessity in the interests of environmental sustainability. In the last two years alone, the number of e-commerce customers has increased rapidly, and the continuation of this trend is predicted to continue in the future.
However, according to a European study, up to four times more emissions can be generated with online shopping compared to the traditional alternative. This, sooner or later, will take a toll on the environment, which the e-commerce sellers themselves are aware of.
Eco-friendly solutions are an important part of the customer experience, where, according to available data, about 80 percent of shoppers always choose a brand that cares about sustainability. Even up to 50 percent of the world’s consumers are willing to pay extra for companies with a positive environmental impact.
Sales and logistics companies must therefore adapt to their needs, bringing “greener” alternatives while handling shipments.
Sustainability starts with packaging
According to the data from the Statista portal, the most produced emissions from the e-commerce environment are generated during the packaging of goods.
This is mainly due to the excessive use of material in manual packaging, where many times the box is not sized to fit the product. Immediately, there is an empty space in the package, which is filled with, for example, plastic bubble wrap or other similar options in order to secure the goods.
The packaging continues by sticking, where again the main role is played by plastic tape. At the same time, we must not forget the amount of waste generated, which must be further processed in junkyards.
The solution to reducing emissions and thus the carbon footprint of the package is to bring “greener” alternatives. These include, for example, paper filling or tape, a more thorough selection of a suitable box for the product, emphasis on separation, and recycling of the generated waste.
On the other hand, there is also machine packaging, which is not only faster, but also much more environmentally friendly. Last year, we also put the high-speed packaging machine into operation at the Fulfillment by FHB Group.
Thanks to fit-to-size packaging, we can save up to 50 percent of packaging material, and reduce the package by about half. Each item is scanned by the machine, and only then is the necessary amount of cardboard used for packaging.
As a result, the package does not have to be filled with excess material, and we can also use our transport lines much more efficiently.
Half-empty cars are a problem
The volume of emissions generated is associated with almost every type of transport, especially in shipment delivery. Electronic vehicles are not yet able to deliver parcels efficiently over long distances, so it is important how carefully parcel logistics are planned.
If the vehicle travels a longer distance abroad, it is important for the logistics company to get the most out of its journey and efficiently fill the vehicle. For comparison, if a company uses fit-to-size packaging, filling the vehicles saves every third road, as the packages are usually half the size of manual packaging.
The effective utilization of transportation lines in logistics not only saves money for the organization. The volume of air emissions is significantly lowered by reducing the number of vehicles going around the world, therefore reducing the total carbon footprint of the shipment.
Meanwhile, it is no surprise that customers order more goods than they need. Then, a relatively large part will either be returned, or the customer will not even take over the shipment.
So, there is an ecological necessity for the carrier to take over these returns on the way back to the warehouse. The goods are reprocessed during the storage process, and the products are then offered again for expedition, saving not only another needed transport for parcels but also waste generation.
Eco-friendly approach at Fulfillment by FHB Group
At Fulfillment by FHB Group, we pay close attention to the environment and carbon footprint of each package. Our packaging of goods consists of manual and machine form.
Most shipments go through technological packaging, thanks to which we save large amounts of material. The rest of the goods are processed on our packaging lines, where we prefer the most thorough selection of packaging for each product.
In addition, after agreement with the client, it is possible to pack the goods in an eco-friendly form, where each shipment is filled with paper and sealed with paper tape. We try to use the materials in packaging that are already in recycled form, while when creating waste, we make sure that it is thoroughly sorted.
In this way, unused packaging can be given the opportunity for further processing.
We fill our regular daily service lines as efficiently as possible to prevent us from driving half-empty cars across Europe. In addition, our drivers have a well-planned journey so that they can deliver packages and then take back the returned parcels in one trip.
Every year, we introduce new solutions and investments to improve our services not only for our clients, but also for the planet. Therefore, we do not plan to end these steps in this or the following years.