Cost is not the only factor to consider when you are designing your company?s plan and procedures for shipping air and ocean cargo. More and more businesses are looking for ways to decrease their carbon footprint. They are working to make their air and sea freight shipping process more environmentally friendly.
Tips for greening your air and sea freight shipping procedures:
- Try to find boxes that were made from recycled materials. What you ship your products in can be as important as how you are shipping them. Whenever possible, use boxes that were made from post-consumer recycled materials. These are much more sustainable. You should look for packaging that is both Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C) certified. FSC certification means that the box was made from trees in sustainably managed forests. C2C certified products use adhesives and inks that are not harmful to the environment.
- Make your filling material biodegradable. The standard packing material is styrofoam but this is terrible for the environment. The petroleum-based product is the epitome of an unsustainable material that does not degrade like other materials. The process to manufacture styrofoam creates a lot more waste that when other packing materials are made. There are a number of biodegradable packaging fillers that can be used instead of styrofoam. You can use alternatives such as corrugated inserts or organic starch cushioning, for example.
- Less is more. Sending your products out to your air and sea freight shipping company in smaller boxes reduces the amount of packing materials you will use. This lowers your cost and carbon footprint because less waste is generated. This will also mean you can send more of your items in each shipment, which reduces your shipping costs even further. It just makes a lot of sense to use smaller shipping boxes.
- Research different American cargo shipping companies to find the greenest one. Every company approaches the environment differently. Some have no qualms about having a larger than needed carbon footprint. Others go out of their way to have a smaller footprint. When you are researching shipping companies, ask about the environmental programs. Do they allow their drives to sit with their trucks idling for long periods of time. You do not have to be an environmental activist to see how bad that can be. If you cannot get the information you need or have any questions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the SmartWay Program. They monitor companies? policies and actions and look at activities ranging from vehicle idling to tire inflation.
- Build your warehouses closer to where you customers are. If you need to do a lot of shipping to south america, you need to look at the sea and airports that service the regions where your packages are sent the most often and try to build your warehouses there. By being close to these sites, though which they will have to pass, you can reduce your costs and carbon footprint.
Some of these idea will cost more. The boxes that are C2C certified cost more than traditional boxes. Biodegradable packaging materials do not, their prices are very competitive.