What Is Green Logistics?

Sustainable Green Logistics Blog

The dawn of 2020 brings with it even more awareness of environmental issues, and many companies are choosing to make small changes that, in the long run, may have a big impact on the environment and sustainability. But what is green logistics, and what can we do about environmental issues in the logistics industry?

Green Logistics Definition

The definition of the term green logistics is fairly simple. Green logistics refers to the concept of moving items and equipment efficiently, while also minimizing impact on the environment. Balancing economic and ecological goals is a priority when it comes to green logistics. The concept of green logistics has been around since the 1980s and continues to grow in importance as businesses become more aware of how their activities impact the environment.

Green Logistics & US Environmental Goals

The Environment team within the Office of Policy Development, Strategic Planning and Performance, is part of the US Department of Transportation and focuses on environmental and transportation issues related to the environment. According to the Transportation.gov website, one of its main goals is to “Move freight by the most efficient and convenient modes, offering substantial reductions in petroleum use.” Choosing an exceptional 3PL can help businesses achieve this goal. Part of our goal as a 3PL is to make transporting your goods, equipment and more as efficiently as possible. When items are moved with efficiency, petroleum use is limited to that which is necessary.

Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Tips

Some top tips to make your logistics processes more environmentally friendly include the following:

  • Use a 3PL to plan the most efficient routes, and modes of transportation. Their job is to make your transportation more efficient and more efficient routes will likely result in a lower transportation carbon footprint.
  • Choose to ship cargo by ocean freight for the most environmentally friendly option, followed by truckload shipping, and then the least environmentally friendly option of air freight.
  • Consider purchasing carbon offsets to balance out your carbon footprint.

Sustainable Packaging

Take a look at your current packaging.

  • Can the packaging currently used with each shipment be reduced, while still providing substantial protection to the items being shipped?
  • Is your current packaging biodegradable, recycled, or recyclable?
  • Reduce unnecessary packaging to fit more items per container, reduce shipping costs and reduce the number of shipments necessary.

Advantages of Green Logistics

There are many advantages to choosing green logistics, aside from environmental impact. In many instances, the green logistics choice is the most efficient and cost effective.

Challenges of Green Logistics

Green logistics does of course have its challenges. Consumers in today’s market have high levels of demand and expect next day delivery, or short delivery time frames even for items purchased overseas. Expectations are high and businesses are under pressure to meet customer demands. Careful planning and the use of an experienced 3PL can help streamline the transportation process, and experience can enable 3PL team members to make sensible choices, balancing business needs and ecological concerns. 

For more information on green logistics or to start working with a 3PL team, contact Beltmann Integrated Logistics today.


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BIL Green Logistcs Infographic - Edited