Transportation services have become indispensable for all of us. Whether you are a private individual who is planning to relocate or a business that is selling its products, we all rely on cargo delivery services.
The industry's impact on the environment is very well known, but the good part is that we can all contribute in minimising the effects. How can we do that? Simply by adapting to an Eco-Friendly shipping process.
Through this guideline, we would like to raise awareness regarding the environmental impact the traditional shipping methods and materials can have and to offer you some tips for Eco-friendly shipping.
Shrink-wrap, which is one of the most used materials when preparing a pallet, is among the materials with a huge impact on the environment. Fortunately, there are a few businesses which are now producing biodegradable shrink-wrap, compared with the usual synthetic product which degrades over thousands of years. One other option would be to recycle your packaging materials.
The pallet bases are also a threat to the environment. The two most used pallet types are the plastic pallet and the wooden pallet. We all know the damage plastic can cause, but what about wood? Some people may say the wooden pallet is a good alternative, as does not affect the environment as badly in comparison to the plastic, however this is not quite true. Most of the pallets are treated to avoid degradation of the wood. Furthermore, if the pallet sits for too long in unfavourable conditions, it will end up being burned. By burning treated pallets, damaging smoke will be released into the atmosphere.
The easiest solution in this case is to recycle your pallets. While plastic pallets can be easily recycled into new pallets and other plastic products, the situation with wooden ones is slightly different. For instance, a broken wooden pallet can be recycled into a different product, such as paper or cardboard, but after a few recycling processes, it cannot be used anymore.
Another option would be to use pallets already made of recycled materials such as cardboard, paper and glue. Whilst this type of pallet is 100% recyclable, they are also lighter than a wooden pallet, which can save you money and help reduce the emissions produced by the vehicles transporting them.
You can also try to use the spare pallets to build useful items around your house such as shelves, storage units, garden pallet benches, bed frames etc.
Apart from using biodegradable materials and using recyclable items when shipping your cargo, you should also pay attention to the logistics strategy for sustainable pallet shipping.
Firstly, when booking a pallet delivery always schedule the collection, rather than dropping off your consignment, to reduce the carbon footprint. Drivers have already been assigned in your area, and they can easily collect your goods too.
Also, you can try to minimize if possible the size and volume of your shipment. In this way you will reduce the quantity of the packing material you are using, but also, will increase the space in the truck, vessel or aeroplane, which will automatically reduce the carbon footprint of your shipment.
If you are a regular shipper, and you have already created long-term partnerships, you can also try to consolidate your shipments: for example, instead of sending several packages per month, you can agree with your buyer/supplier to send or buy more products, but less often.
When shipping outside the continent, you have to choose between air freight and sea freight services. Even if the air freight services come with many advantages such as a far quicker transit time, the sea freight service offers both a much cheaper option and a more environmentally friendly way to ship your goods.
Usually, people think that it is the shipping company's responsibility to think about sustainable shipping strategies. But the truth is that we can all make a difference, and if we want to change the world, we must start with ourselves.
One of the most important things is to acknowledge the industry's impact on the environment. Thankfully, we all have access to information, and we can use it to educate ourselves on how we can ship sustainably.
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