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All industries including supply chain, logistics and warehousing are actively taking steps to go green. However, do you know what green logistics is? This article explains the meaning of green logistics and warehousing, examples of and also takes a closer look at companies following green logistics practices.


What is green logistics?

In simple words meaning of green logistics is to follow practices that will reduce energy consumption and curb carbon emissions. Unfortunately, logistics depends heavily on fossil fuels for transport. Despite this fact, several efforts are being taken to curb carbon emissions and follow green logistics practices. Here are some examples of green logistics.

Green logistics examples

How do companies try and curb the emissions occurring during logistics? Here are some examples.

Green logistics: Managing transport

This is one of the most challenging areas as transport still heavily depends on fossil fuels. However, companies take smaller steps to respond to climate change. Here is how.

  • Use of alternate fuel: Moving to electric vehicles wherever possible especially for intracity transport. Alternatively, for another mode of transport, reducing carbon emissions with alternate fuel is possible. For example, Tata Steel imported coal through an LNG-fueled ship from Australia.
  • Optimising routes: Optimising routes of vehicles is one of the other ways to save fuel and reduce emissions.  
  • Filling full capacities: Filling the transport vehicle to its capacity to optimise the journey.
  • Use of PTL: Using PTL (partial truck load service) if you do not have cargo to fill the whole truck is an effective way of reducing carbon footprint.

What is PTL?

PTL or partial truckload shipping transports goods from two or more customers through the same truck. Two or more shipper share the truck occupancy and pay only for the volume of their goods. PTL turns out to be beneficial for customers in many ways. Since two or more shippers hire a single truck instead of transporting goods from a respective number of trucks, leads to reducing carbon emissions.

Tata nexarc’s Logistics platform offers PTL services at reasonable rates. You can simply visit Tata nexarc’s Logistics page and fill in details such as shipping address, destination, weight of cargo, etc., choose your logistics partners from the list of verified partners and schedule your transport.

Geen logistics: management

A company can adopt green logistics management practices. These include the following:

  • Cargo Consolidation: Combining shipments from multiple sources and consolidating them as per destinations helps reduce the number of trips and decrease carbon emissions.
  • Use of cross docking facilities: Through the use of cross-docking facilities, cargo is sorted and consolidated depending on their destinations. This enables route optimisation and ensures a reduction in carbon footprint.
  • Optimised distribution network: Optimised distribution network enables maximising efficiency, minimising costs, and improving service levels along with reducing carbon emissions.
  • Managing reverse logistics: Reverse logistics is not only an added cost but also requires double the amount of effort and additional journeys. Hence, it is best to ship cargo of the right quality and quantity to avoid returns and thereby journeys.
  • Collaborating with suppliers: B2B companies can collaborate with their suppliers and encourage them to deliver goods in an eco-friendly manner. This may include delivery through e-vehicle, using sustainable packaging, etc.
  • Right logistics partner: While choosing the logistics partner for your business, you can go through the guidelines of various logistics companies and consider their emphasis on sustainability. You can choose a partner that emphasizes a partner that follows green logistics practices rigorously. A list of some of the logistics companies following sustainability norms is given below in the article.

Green warehousing: examples

Implementing green logistics practices in warehousing can help a company achieve sustainability goals. Here are some of the examples.

  • Using LED lighting and motion detectors
  • Using electric forklifts for material handling
  • Installing solar panels to use renewable energy in the warehouse.
  • Installing insulating doors enables maintaining temperatures in the warehouse. This further leads to saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
  • Warehouse automation can help in meeting sustainability goals. For example, automated guided vehicles can be a more effective and energy-efficient way of fetching goods from the warehouse to the production line or packaging area.
  • Use of data analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor and optimise supply chain processes. This can lead to reduced energy consumption and waste.
  • You can opt for a certification such as LEED to be compliant with the sustainability norms.

Green logistics: Packaging examples

Here are some of the examples of green logistics to manage packaging.

  • Using biodegradable plastic, recyclable or recycled packing material or reusable containers are some of the examples of going green with packaging.
  • Another example of green packaging would be the optimum amount of packaging material. Using additional material unnecessarily can have an adverse impact on the environment.
  • In order to pack products as per their sizes helps in using the right amount of material. Therefore, one can opt for tailored packaging instead of using standardised boxes.

Logistics companies known for following green logistics practices

  • SEROS Logistics: It is a Surat-based logistics company. It has launched several initiatives to adopt energy-efficient logistics practices. In fact, the company has a division named SEROS Green that is committed to moving cargo with cleaner fuel.
  • Greenline Logistics: This Mumbai-based company offers green logistics services to its customers. The company has an LNG-fueled fleet of trucks. Switching from conventional fuel to LNG can reduce carbon emissions approximately by 30%.
  • DHL: A global logistics giant is committed to climate protection. It aims at electrifying 60% of last-mile deliveries and long-distance shipments with electric vehicles by 2030.
  • Mahindra Logistics: The company has more than 1300 electric vehicles for greening transport services. Additionally, it aims to become carbon neutral by 2040. Other initiatives of green logistics include LEED-certified facilities, solar-powered warehouses, etc.

A list of other logistics companies with green logistics goals include:

  • Maersk South Asia
  • Varuna Group
  • NimbusPost
  • Blue Dart
  • Shadowfax
  • Evify

Concluding remarks

Following green logistics practices is a journey. Achieving sustainable goals is important for responding to climate change.

Swati Deshpande

Swati is a passionate content writer with more than 10 years of experience crafting content for the business and manufacturing sectors, and helping MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) navigate complexities in steel procurement, and business services. Her clear and informative writing empowers MSMEs to make informed decisions and thrive in the competitive landscape.