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Sustainability has been a buzzword for a while now, as it is something everyone can play a part in and something we all need to take responsibility for. As more corporations and consumers prioritize “going green” or being environmentally friendly, sustainability will remain a focus.

This very point was showcased in a couple of recent studies. Forbes found that 92% of consumers will be more likely to trust a company that supports social or environmental issues. Coyote Logistics and Martec discovered that 81% of supply-chain companies have increased their focus on sustainability in the last three years, attributing the sustainability adjustments to pressure from stakeholders and global demand to “go green.”

But what does that mean for the LTL industry? How can companies work to lower their carbon footprint without disrupting their operations or hurting their bottom line?

Sustainability Strategies to Become a Friend to the Environment

Across the transportation industry, sustainability is an ongoing discussion, and that is good for the LTL sector because it in itself is seen as a more environmentally friendly shipping option. By sharing the load across shippers, LTL carriers are helping companies be more sustainable. However, there are other things LTL companies can do to improve their sustainability as well. Some strategies to consider are listed below.  

Use fuel more efficiently. This can be done by ensuring the routes taken are the most linear and effective, which may mean choosing a route that is not the easiest or fastest. Another method of using fuel effectively is to lower a truck’s idle time. Utilizing technology can help with both of these fuel efficiency methods. A transportation management system backed with freight-pricing APIs that compare transit times, modes and rates can ensure companies are choosing the most effective route at the best price. Additionally, integrating the TMS with a warehouse management system on the receiving end of your shipment can ensure they know when a truck will arrive and be ready for it, resulting in less time idling in the dock/receiving area. The less time spent idle, the less fuel consumed and the less emissions seeping into the atmosphere.

Fill empty miles. Deadhead miles and backhauls can be costly, time-consuming and bad on the environment. By working to fill those empty miles with loads (even partial loads), will increase a company’s sustainability and lessen its carbon footprint. By working with more regional and local shippers to fill these freight lanes, carriers can reduce empty trucks on the road. Additionally, carriers can incentivize shippers to use these lanes by offering real-time, lane rate reductions through some freight-pricing APIs. Shippers then have the option to have lower cost on freight while also helping the environment. 

Reduce waste. This can be done by revisiting packaging. Shippers can use recyclable packaging, less packaging as well as materials made from already recycled materials. They can also cut down on the number of boxes and opt for reusable packing options. Another way to reduce waste is to go paperless. By leveraging technology, companies can stop relying on paper invoices, packing slips, bills of lading and other paper products, and switch to electronic formats instead. Not only does this save on paper, but it also increases efficiency and saves time and money for the shipper and carrier. 

Are You Ready to Ramp Up Sustainability Efforts?

Small changes can make a big impact, so don’t be overwhelmed or burdened by trying to enhance your green efforts. A simple change in a route or freight classification can save on fuel while doing away with paper invoicing can lessen office waste. Additionally, upping your sustainability game can also have other benefits besides being a friend to the environment. Reducing packaging can reduce your freight costs while switching to a fuel-efficient shipping method or carrier can also help save money. Moreover, implementing technology like a TMS and freight-pricing APIs not only cuts down on paper usage, but it also creates efficiencies and helps shippers find the most cost-effective carriers. 

As we all do our part and work together to protect the planet, everyone wins!

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