Sustainable Logistics, The Keys To Achieve It

Being sustainable in a company has several meanings. The logistics area in companies is undoubtedly an area where the word sustainability is not used very often.

After reading an article about “The logistics that a sustainable country deserves” I found that not many entrepreneurs know how to improve their processes and even automate some so that the dream of having green logistics becomes a reality.


The elements of green logistics

A more sustainable logistics is achieved by understanding that in addition to producing recyclable packaging and reducing energy consumption in storage facilities, companies must pay attention to three factors.

  • The process of transporting goods
    The product distribution process
    Truck loading and unloading times
  • According to figures from the Colombian logistics portal, 3,884,043 million trips were made last year, transporting an average of 13 tons per trip. (MinTransporte 2020).

I invite you to think about all the CO2 released into our air during that process. Not counting the tons of food that are lost due to inefficiencies in transportation. All of the above is not only an impact on the environment but also a waste of resources that could have been used.


How to make logistics greener?


1- Reducing the number of kilometers traveled with the truck empty

The reason why this occurs is that many companies pay their outsourced transport partners for empty trips to pick up the merchandise in another part of the country. While this is happening, there are carriers close to the place where the cargo is located, but the company is unable to contact them.

To improve this situation and reduce the number of trucks that travel several, it is necessary to empower transporters to offer their services with the company once they are available.

There are companies that even use a mechanism to send messages or massive offers to carriers that are in a specific geographic area to communicate their availability to transport the cargo.


1- Increasing the number of tons transported per trip

At this point and according to the article I cited above, it is key that companies begin to collaborate. In other words, if there is spare space in a truck “A”, it can be filled to the maximum capacity with cargo from an allied company that follows the same route.

To achieve this collaborative dream where only one truck arrives with all the orders from several companies at a point “B”, it is necessary to bring this collaboration to the level of inter-company communication.

In a previous article, I had talked about agent-agent communication where managers of two different companies coordinate a joint operation that translates into a reduction in costs for both companies.

In this case, for example, Company “A” has a good relationship with Company “B”, which curiously transports goods to the CEDIS of a Supermarket. In case the loads do not have any restrictions to be carried together, why not make the transport more efficient and use a single truck?

Optimizing transport routes

By optimizing transport routes, fuel consumption is reduced, waiting times due to inconveniences on the road are reduced and delivery times are potentially improved.

Today, delivery routes can be optimized by carefully studying the routes that carriers take on a day-to-day basis.

Contrary to what you are thinking, it is not precisely the information generated by the satellite sensors of the vehicle that I am referring to, but the information from the GPS of the driver’s mobile phone.

The information from the mobile phone allows a much more precise follow-up of the geolocation of the carrier and its truck.

By storing the data collected in a database as simple as Google Sheets and comparing it with the time it took for the transport, alternatives to the routes that are taken regularly can be evaluated.


-Reducing the use of paper in the cargo transportation process

The amount of paper that goes into a single trip from a carrier is incredible. The transport industry and freight generating companies still depend to a great extent on guides, transport documents, invoices and forms of legalization of printed expenses that not only affect the environment but are also a headache for the driver who You must take care of all of them, as they constitute the proof of delivery of the merchandise.

To reduce the amount of paper used in the process of transporting and distributing merchandise, it is necessary to turn to technology once again.

By digitizing many of the documents and enabling their consultation, it is possible to reduce the amount of paper required in the operation.

Some of the most innovative companies are experimenting with the use of OCR or Optical Character Recognition for its acronym in English, which allows scanning documents such as delivery guides, acknowledgments of receipt and personal identifications and extracting data from the image so that these are stored in a database arranged by the company but that in principle could be as simple as a spreadsheet in the cloud like Google Sheets.

Reducing loading and unloading times

By implementing a turnaround model that allows for faster loading and unloading and minimizing waiting times, you have a better use of assets (trucks always on the move) and more productive allies (carriers running most of the time.)

Remember that having greener and more sustainable logistics brings benefits that go beyond reducing costs for your company and improving the environment.

Some of the additional benefits are:

  • Strengthening business reputation
  • Qualification to receive tax incentives
  • Faculty to apply to credits with lower interest rates and tied to the goals of the company.

Start now to transform your company with the help of Twnel, the company that does all the above possible by automating and digitizing the processes of transport and logistics companies.