Shipping logistics can get complex, especially when international shipping is thrown in the mix. Things like air shipping rates, finding quality freight forwarders, and using a certified purchasing agent can all be factors. However, one of the major downfalls of shipping and receiving, no matter what mode of transit you use or who your freight forwarding company may be, is the potential negative impact on the environment.
To help keep the Earth a little cleaner, and your budget a little greener, here are a few ways to make your shipping methods more eco-friendly.
There are many options when it comes to using recycled packaging. You can find eco-friendly, biodegradable packing peanuts, as well as boxes and shipping materials made from recycled products. Part of your budget is allocated to obtaining packaging from a manufacturer, which is often used from new materials. With certified recycled packaging, the amount of new material used drops depending on the quantity you purchase, which can save the environment and your budget. Besides things like cardboard and paper, you can also look for packaging that uses recycled glues and inks as well.
Fillers, such as styrofoam, are inherently bad for the environment. It’s a non-biodegradable product, and it’s manufacturing process also creates a lot of waste. Instead of using things like plastic, styrofoam, and other less-environmentally friendly means of protecting your product, consider using corrugated inserts or a bio-material version of packing foam.
Not only does minimizing the size of your packaging help with shipping rates, especially concerning international shipping, but it can also help reduce the carbon footprint generated throughout the distribution chain. For these two reasons, lightweighting is a win-win project. Less packaging material means less space used, which means more room during transit for more product, and thus a streamlined manufacturing to market process.
If you’re shipping perishable items that need to be cooled during transit, consider using dry ice to keep it from spoiling. Combining dry ice and insulated packaging can preserve food for 24 to 48 hours. Dry ice is solid carbon dioxide, and it sublimates (turns into CO2 gas) instead of melting. That means there’s no secondary waste and it’s environmentally sustainable.
It can be hard to implement eco-friendly shipping tactics when your business ships internationally, especially when you’re trying to manage a large facet of a business. Start with one thing at a time, and slowly work other methods in until you’ve reached your sustainability goal. Whether it’s international shipping or domestic, every little bit counts.
Need a freight forwarder who understands your eco-friendly efforts? Give the ocean freight experts and shipping agents at JML Corporation a call today.