4 Tips for More Sustainable Logistics Operations

As sustainability becomes more important to consumers, industries of all sorts are challenged to rethink their day-to-day operations. The logistics sector is no exception. 

Driving goods across the country, all day, everyday, can be particularly taxing on the environment. Especially with the pressure to deliver goods faster than ever. 

The good news is there are alternative options and simple measures you can take to make your logistic operations more sustainable. The key is to find a middle ground between maximizing consumer expectations and minimizing environmental impact.

Read on to discover 4 tips for a more sustainable logistics operation.

Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle

The three R’s are known almost religiously in environmental communities. This is for good reason. Reducing, reusing, and recycling are great principles, not just for living life, but also for operating a business. 

Step one is to reduce the amount of materials wasted throughout the operation. An environmental audit can help you find areas of excessive waste that need to be minimized. 

Next is to reuse any salvageable materials from one delivery to the next. Things such as wooden pallets, plastic bags, or packaging bubbles are great materials to use again and again.

Finally, find areas of the operation where waste can be recycled. Again, look toward your plastic output. You can also consider using reusable packaging and materials that the consumer can recycle after delivery.

Use On-the-Road Data

One of the best ways to help the environment is to make delivery trips as optimized as possible. For example, if you’re sending three packages to the same location, you’ll want all these packages shipped out on the same truck. 

Seems obvious enough, but there is more data that can be harvested in order to optimize delivery services. Some apps allow consumers to designate when they will be home to receive the package, for example. This minimizes wasted trips to empty houses.

Finding the data of where your packages are being delivered and how effectively they are being received can minimize the carbon footprint of your logistics operation. 

Pop-up Warehouses

How can you deliver things all over the country, on time, while still minimizing the carbon impact of the delivery trucks? The answer is simple: utilize pop-up warehouses.

Pop-up warehouses are temporary storage houses for products. They are helpful for times when orders are unusually high, such as during the holidays.

By investing in pop-up warehouses at strategic times of the year, as well as in strategic places in the country, you can be more efficient in your delivery services.

Alternative Vehicles & Fuels

Outdated, gas-guzzling vehicles are one of the leading causes of pollution. If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly logistics plan, consider updating your vehicles and fueling options.

It may be a major expense upfront, but newer vehicles will save you more money over time because they are more efficient on gas.

In addition, consider biofuels over gasoline, and gasoline over diesel fuel. Gas engines aren’t stellar for the environment, but compared to diesel engines, they are much greener.

Green 3PL Company on the East Coast

Another way to have greener logistics operations is to outsource it altogether. Here at Cannon Hill Logistics, we care about the environment just as much as we care about your business. Contact us for a quote!

How to Prepare Your Business for Peak Shipping Season

As difficult as it is to predict trends in consumers, there is a stable pattern of yearly demand to be recognized and prepared for. As the summer comes to an end, many business owners are preparing themselves for peak shipping season.

Peak shipping season occurs from mid-August until October. During this time, retailers experience increased demand as they prepare for the back-to-school season and the holidays. They will also begin to switch out their summer inventory and prepare for the change in seasons.

During this time, freight rates rise and their capacity plummets. This can cause significant delays for retailers and those responsible for supply chains. 

In the wake of the pandemic, we can expect to see this trend to be even more severe than typical years. The lack of ships, containers, and workers will make delays and shortages more common.

The good news, however, is that you can prepare in advance and minimize the damage caused by the pandemic. Here are a few tips to prepare for peak shipping season this year:

Budget Realistically

Understand that the costs of shipping, especially overseas, is about to increase dramatically. Calculate these inflated rates into your budget plan so you’re not blindsided by a huge bill during the busiest time of the year.

In fact, now is the best time to shop around for competitive freight rates, before they get too booked. Being proactive on your shipment plans can help you receive timely service at a reasonable price. 

Factor in Delays

When conveying your expected delivery dates to potential clients and customers, be sure to factor in all potential delays. Offering a flexible “delivered by” time can prevent angry and impatient clients from calling you up.

Be sure to also consider transit time, as the pandemic has also caused a shortage in truck drivers. 

Most delays on the road are beyond your control, but you should aim to be as efficient as possible in the sectors of your business that you can control. This includes having an organized and informed warehouse and a speedlined pick-up system.

Consider Alternative Options

During the peak of the shipping season, you might have to consider alternative delivery options. For example, air freight or another shipping method may be cheaper and more easily available.

Think outside of the box to find innovative solutions to the issues that may arise. Consolidating freights or shifting modes could be your best option for satisfied customers.

Partner With a 3PL

Chances are, you have more experience with the products you provide and day-to-day management of your business, and less experience with the logistics of it. This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help.

These companies help with every step of the supply chain process. They have the expertise needed to manage a complicated shipping season, even in this chaotic year. 

Your East Coast 3PL Provider

This peak shipping season, trust Cannon Hill Logistics to help with all your distribution needs. We have over 35 years of experience helping small businesses thrive. Our convenient East Coast location means we can reach half the US population within just 3 days! Call today to receive a quote.