Online shopping parcel is great for fashion lovers and those who are reluctant shoppers. Just a few clicks and you can have your order delivered to your home. We all know that goods must be transport and that any delivery that involves planes, trucks, or ships will cause greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to climate change.
It would be great to know that online shopping doesn’t contribute to global warming. Are carbon-neutral deliveries possible? What can logistics companies do to reduce their environmental footprint? Online shopping has brought new levels to online shopping. Transport companies have increased their airfreight capacity, and overall freight volumes grew 3.8% in 2016.
While it may be beneficial for companies bottom lines, more packages for customers can actually be very harmful for the environment. Major logistics companies have adopted carbon-reduction strategies. These companies see carbon reduction not only as a way of gaining customers’ trust through appealing to their environmental conscience but also as a way for them to save money by improving energy efficiency, which reduces carbon emissions.
Energy efficiency initiatives currently include the increased use of electric vehicles and bicycles to cover the last miles the last leg of a parcel’s journey from depot or doorstep to its destination. A second strategy is to introduce better logistics software, which allows companies to track the movements of drivers and plan routes. This will allow them deliver more goods in less vehicles. Companies are increasingly seeking intermodal solutions. Instead of using trucks to deliver, companies might use other modes of transport such as rail and ships, depending on which will consume the most fuel energy.
Going Zero-Carbon Parcel?
Although these initiatives are a positive step, some companies claim they will eliminate carbon emissions entirely. The reduction of plane emissions is one of the most difficult challenges. Global greenhouse gas emissions are largely cause by air freight and general aviation.
Many transport companies have partnered with entrepreneurs to develop non-fossil fuel alternatives like biofuels from algae. Algae can quickly culture and grown anywhere in the world. It can also grown on land not suitable for traditional farming. This allows it to avoid competition from agriculture.
Algae is currently consider a fuel for tomorrow, and not a feasible option today. Although it is difficult to produce algal biofuel at commercial aviation scale, studies show that replacing kerosene by biofuels could reduce carbon emissions up to 65%.
Future deliveries will be made by drones, and companies such as UPS are already testing them. Although it is not practical to have drones that operate from a warehouse, the idea of having them drive a van to cover the “last miles” can be very effective. This saves the driver time and effort of getting in the truck, getting out, finding the package and then carrying it to their destination.
Trucks and electric vehicles are getting more improvements. Trucks make up less than 5% of all vehicles in most industrialized countries. However, they contribute 25% to the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions and 20% to Australia’s. Trucks could reduce their carbon emissions by as much as 40% through new standards for carbon emissions.
It is smarter to replace older vans with more modern versions, especially if the vehicles can be charged using renewable electricity. Parcel delivery vans are able to travel around 100km per day and don’t suffer from the range anxiety, which can make electric vans feasible. DHL Logistics last year revealed its electric delivery van and announced plans to double its production.
Do It Yourself
Because 3D printing eliminates the need to deliver, it can help us get closer to carbon neutrality. While 3D printing faces sustainability issues, it can be considered a disruptive technology that could lead to a significant shift in supply chains. Most goods will be manufactured and sold near their point of consumption. According to one estimate, 3D printing could reduce global supply chain costs by 50-90%. This will result in large carbon savings.
These steps may not be sufficient to ensure a carbon-neutral 100% delivery. However, the combination of these efforts and their expansion over the next few years could make. Online ordering significantly more environmentally friendly. Transport companies are optimistic about the future. When you place an order online, you can be sure that you will have a clear conscience. Have fun shopping!