Eco-logistics : strategies for ecofriendly logistics in a supply chain

Eco-logistics refers to a wave of green revolution in business operations by introducing a set of sustainability measures taken by the logistics industry to minimize the ecological impact it has on our planet. The goal of green logistics revolves around reducing the carbon footprint of logistics operations and a responsible use of the supply chain from both manufacturer and customers end.

Yes, it is not solely the responsibility of a company, but customers may also contribute majorly to this impact. In this article we are going to look at some of the area’s logistics currently targeted and the different ways that businesses can implement measures for environmental protection and resource conservation.

Creating a smart warehouse:

Warehousing management systems backed by technology such as bar-coding and radio-frequency identification will help in reducing paper consumption. Automated storage and retrieval systems can help in reducing warehouse footprint by offering smart storage solutions, as well as labour cost of the manufacturer and bolster the safety and security factor. Warehouses can also include daylighting technology, which means fitting the roofs of the warehouses with solar panels.

Efficient reverse logistics:

When a company uses reverse logistics, it deals with processing returns either by repairing or recycling. For example, Levi Strauss repurposes jeans and reprocesses their fibres into raw material to make new jeans. Microsoft refurbishes and reuses personal computers. An efficient reverse supply chain results in improved brand sentiment, hence greater customer satisfaction and improved waste and cost reduction, which is a win-win for everyone, the customer, the firm and the environment.

Cutting cost and footprint on the road:

Making use of data harvested from the user analytics, delivery and transportation systems can be optimized. This can be done by allowing users to mention in advance if they’ll be home to receive the delivery as this holds the potential to save on carbon emitted on a failed delivery. Here customers also come in the focal point, as they hold the key to responsible purchasing to avoid unwanted returns. Customer Conscious reverse logistics play a crucial part in determining how much a company is able to strive towards this goal of ecological preservation.

Optimally locating the distribution facilities:

Thoughtfully locating and designing the distribution centres assisted by efficient delivery route planning and prioritizing load pooling helps to reduce emissions generated by transport. By carefully locating delivery hubs and efficient routes, less drivers and trucks are needed that results in energy preservation.

Using cleaner energy for transportation:

Updating our vehicle fleets and fuelling options unlocks a new sustainable area in a business’ logistics. This can be done by considering biofuel, and electric fleets which are greener, alternative fuel. Recycled material from the food industry can serve as a raw material for biomass and as a source to a greener shift.

Eco-logistics is a collective process that requires business and customer working and benefiting each other in a synergy. Shifting to greener alternatives has also proved to save costs for operations. Having a state of the art inventory management, network modelling system, transportation simulation methods and optimized warehousing facilities are some of the areas where businesses can start working towards this goal.