Why freight matters to supply chain sustainability

Solutions to reduce the environmental impact of freight in your business

Supply chain sustainability is the impact of a company’s logistics & operations, which tend to be unnoticed by the end consumer. However, these activities leave behind a trace of dramatic environmental and even social consequences. Here’s how to take care of your freight matters to green up your supply chain.

Freight travel has become the third most polluting activity on the planet, right after agriculture and energy generation. This is largely because of the huge increase in freight volume over recent years. Global freight volumes grew by more than 50% between 2005 and 2013.

It’s estimated that transportation will consume half of all fossil fuels this year, with most of that consumption happening in trucks. Given these numbers, it’s not hard to see why environmentalists are concerned about our future. 

Freight is a Significant Part of the Supply Chain

In order to ensure successful import/export, the freight needs to be handled with care. The process of shipping involves many tasks, which can range from booking a flight, arranging for customs clearance and providing packing materials.  

Freight management is an important part of logistics and transport, as it helps in making your shipments safer and more efficient. It is a cornerstone of business. It makes the products we buy and sell possible. 

Freight management software automates the entire process so that you don’t really need to worry about anything else other than getting your goods transported. It enables manufacturers to get their goods to market and meet customer expectations, and it delivers those finished goods directly to stores and consumers. 

Packaging waste makes up one-third of what is delivered to landfills each year

The Environmental Impact of Freight

Freight is a major contributor to global warming and climate change. In the US alone, freight contributes to approximately 27% of all transport emissions, which makes it one of the biggest contributors in this regard. Compared with other modes, it has some unique effects that are often overlooked such as the emission of particulate matter and noise pollution.

In addition, the amount of gas used by trucks in the US amounts to over 40 million gallons a day. Freight transports a wide range of products from products that are not very polluting to products that release pollutants at a high rate when burned or discarded. 

If nothing changes, it is predicted that freight transport will account for 15% of global emissions by 2050. This is why it’s more important than ever to reduce the impact of freight on climate change.

How to create your own eco-friendly product labels

Some Solutions for Reducing the Environmental Impact of Freight

#1 Reduce Traffic 

One thing that’s pretty certain is that people would like to do their part for the environment. We all want to do our bit, no matter how small it might seem. And one of the best ways you can reduce your carbon footprint is by reducing truck traffic on your site.

This means minimizing the number of deliveries you make and choosing items that are local or regional in nature. You can even deliver products yourself if you have a delivery vehicle or bicycle. This will also give you an opportunity to build relationships with customers who live nearby. That’s because of face-to-face interactions. 

#2. Carbon -Neutral Shipping  

We live in a world where sustainability is becoming more and more important. It’s not just about conserving the environment, but also saving money. That’s why many companies are choosing to ship their products using carbon-neutral shipping, which has other benefits as well. 

Another way is by reducing your use of diesel fuel for transportation since it’s one of the most harmful ways you can affect the environment. Trucking companies can do this by switching out trucks that run solely on diesel with those that run partly or fully on renewable resources such as biodiesel and ethanol. 

#3. Use Railroads More Often 

Railroads can move big loads much more efficiently than trucks (per ton per mile). Therefore, if your company uses freight trains instead of trucks you will be able to save money and reduce emissions significantly. 

#4. Shop Locally

Whenever you need to go shopping, try to shop within a 20-mile radius of your home. This will help minimize the number of miles your truck has to travel, and will also encourage businesses in your area to grow and strengthen their customer base. If you can’t find what you need at one store, keep looking. Chances are there is another store nearby that carries what you want.

#5. Use Eco-Friendly Packaging 

To reduce this environmental impact, companies can adopt better management strategies. They can use eco-friendly packaging materials which will reduce their impact on climate change. And as a bonus, customers will appreciate your efforts!

Small business looking for sustainable packaging, compostable mailer and tissue? noissue!


For many of us, the idea of freight transportation is associated with large trucks carrying loads on highways or ships traversing oceans. While these forms of transportation are certainly an important part of our supply chains, there are more than just these two options available to businesses today. Shipping by air is another more eco-friendly way to move cargo, and it can also save clients money through cost savings on fuel costs.

It’s not just about the trees when it comes to supply chain sustainability. If you don’t pay attention to how your company can reduce its carbon footprint, not only are you hurting the environment, but you are also hurting your bottom line.

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Arleen Atienza

Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness, and law, to name a few.

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