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2021

STEPS TO A LEAN AND GREEN SUPPLY CHAIN

A supply chain company that strives to go green will automatically become more lean. By analyzing areas where you can reduce pollution and waste, you will offer clean delivery solutions and improve efficiency, and as a result improve your bottom line. We offer four doable steps to begin making changes to your organization. 

  1. With a little analysis, transporting products from A to B with fewer trucks is a simple way to go green through better fleet management and fuelefficient trucks. Truck routing software can also be key to reducing your carbon footprint. If you can’t consolidate your shipments to maximize efficiency, you can move products directly to the end customers in less than truckload (LTL) shipments. While a full truckload carrier moves full trucks of one product from one source, LTL carriers move products from several different sources onto one truck.  Using an LTL carrier means fewer trucks carrying full loads rather than more trucks carrying less than full capacity. The environmental impact of this is positive and also runs at a fraction of the cost of an entire truck. 
  1. A simple fact which many supply companies regularly ignore, is empty trucks returning to the point of origin. This eats up profit, but also damages the environment. If the teams in your organization are communicating well, you will find products from within to fill up the trucksIf this is not an option, you can find partners to fill trucks. Just as large companies share pallets in shipping, the same concept can be applied to trucking to save money and reduce waste. 
  1. If you are looking for even simpler steps, start with your warehouse. Make sure your lighting is eco-friendly (like LED options or skylights for natural light) or when buying machinery, make sure it is energy efficient. Definitely recycle. Since cardboard and paper makes up the biggest portion of warehouse waste, this is straightforward to implement. Ensure your warehouse is properly insulated so you’re not driving up heating or cooling bills (consider geothermal heating systems for the winter or high-volume, low-speed fans so that you barely need the air conditioning).  
  1. Automated warehouses generally have lower operating costs, while maximizing storage space. The more automated, the better your route plans within the warehouse. Forklifts are used efficiently, lights switch off in areas that are not in use, and you can better optimize the energy use of handling equipment. 

 

Supply chain companies nowadays revise their warehousing and transport networks every three to five years. Making green changes in parallel with other organizational changes makes sense. Once you engage with the concepts, it becomes almost intuitive to keep your focus on a maintaining a greener supply chain and you will cut costs in the process.