The sustainability aspect is becoming increasingly important when selecting a carrier. Reducing CO2 emissions is one of the biggest challenges this century and the logistics sector is well aware that it too has a role to play. In fact, the industry is making extremely rapid progress in this area, despite the coronavirus crisis. But for many manufacturing companies, now is not the time to be making significant investments. So how can you make your transport activities smarter, cleaner and more efficient? As a 4PL provider, we’re positioned at the crossroads of sustainability and transport. We have unrivalled insights into how manufacturing companies can move closer towards achieving their sustainability goals without investing heavily. We’re happy to tell you more.
The strength of the supply chain
The true potential for improving sustainability lies in the strength of the supply chain. As a 4PL provider we’re at the very heart of that chain. We have visibility of all our customers’ transport movements including shipment data, volumes, destinations and special conditions. By consolidating shipments, we create more efficient routes with fuller trucks, both there and back. So that means fewer transport kilometres. That is not only good for the environment but also good for your bottom line. But consolidation isn’t easy. It requires insight and open access to data, not to mention intensive end-to-end supply chain collaboration.
Another aspect of sustainability is reducing waste – and that includes paperwork. We work with digital consignment notes, for example. And we’re stimulating the switch to reusable packaging components such as pool pallets and collapsible crates and containers. We encourage our customers to pack their shipments as efficiently as possible, without unnecessary empty space and always in a standard size. And needless to say, we’re constantly seeking carriers who excel in maximizing the number of consignments that can be loaded into each truck.
By rail and water
Thanks to our end-to-end chain visibility at IDS, we can also provide sound evidence to consider modalities such as rail or water. These can be sustainable alternatives for road transport, because they offer considerably more loading capacity than a truck, which reduces the number of transport movements. We ensure the goods are transferred to (electric) last-mile vehicles and make use of smart hubs as an extra way of achieving synergy.
Innovation is everywhere
Besides price and quality, the CO2 emission level has become one of the most important selection criteria for our clients. Truck and trailer suppliers have now got that message loud and clear too. Innovation is everywhere and the pace of advancement continues to accelerate. From the use of biofuels to fully electric trucks. From tyre-pressure sensors to solar panels on trailers, nowadays such innovations have become key variables in solving the logistics puzzle of getting goods to the right place at the right time as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
Sustainability and reality go hand in hand
In other words, even small changes – sharing transport-related and other data, smarter packaging methods and transport modalities, and focusing on innovation – can make a big difference. But we need to stay realistic. 100% sustainability is not financially feasible right now, but a 100% focus on the lowest price is not the right answer either. At IDS, we’re continuously striving to find the right balance for our customers… and perhaps we can do the same for you, too?
Contact Arno Spoek to discuss how to add some more sustainability to your supply chain!