Logistics deals with getting a product from one place to another, either the manufacturer to the supplier, the supplier to the customer, or directly from the manufacturer to the customer.
The most important factor in logistics for many years was minimizing the cost of delivery. This remains an important point but now sustainability is also important.
The good news is that the two concepts can work well together.
For example, if a company creates a product and dispatches it to the customer, that should be the end of the matter. However, if its product arrives damaged there will be an unhappy customer, an argument between a delivery company, insurance companies, and the manufacturer. This process will cost time and use valuable resources before it is resolved. In addition, the customer needs a new product, making one doesn’t just cost more, it has an environmental impact thanks to the resources used for a second time.
That’s why many companies are using products like temperature monitoring when dispatching goods, it helps to ensure the product arrives in one piece and is good for the business reputation, as well as the environment.
The Darker Side Of Logistics
You also need to consider the number of greenhouse gases and noise disturbance that is created by the logistics process. In fact, the movement of freight is estimated to be responsible for between 7-8% of all greenhouse gases produced every year.
That alone makes sustainability an important concept in logistics.
Alongside this, the logistics of a supply chain can be seriously damaging to the environment. After all, if you order materials from several thousands of miles away and then ship the finished products to destinations even further away then you’re increasing the greenhouse gases being released.
The solution to this is to source products more locally or even consider moving the manufacturing process. Both will reduce the release of damaging gases into the environment.
Perhaps of just as much interest is that sourcing items locally may cost more to purchase but, by cutting out delivery costs, the materials can work out to be the same price, or mess. In short, taking the green option can actually reduce a company’s effect on the environment.
Sustainability is more than just reducing logistics costs. It also means looking at the materials you use throughout the production and delivery process. Recycled cardboard for wrapping parcels is a far better option than using new materials, and it has less impact on the environment.
That’s the real bottom line, if you don’t start to adopt sustainable practices now there won’t be the materials you need to produce goods and deliver them in the future. Issues regarding the environment affect all of us and every business should take their share of the responsibility for saving the environment for future generations. You won’t be the only one taking action.
If you don’t you may be able to make your bottom line look better today but you may not have a bottom line tomorrow.