Businesses should care about sustainable supply chains if only to save money, says Jason Meklir, vice president of enterprise sales at Flock Freight.
Transportation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, Meklir says, and medium and heavy-haul trucks contribute about a quarter of that alone.
Concomitant with transportation’s negative impact on the environment is awareness inside freight companies of their contribution to greenhouse emissions. Stakeholders are beginning to recognize a responsibility to mitigate the toxic effects of their operations, Meklir says.
“Individuals feel some of the sustainability needs within their personal lives and the impact that they can have within their organizations, to help foster change within those organizations. You see inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement.”
Once a company makes a commitment to sustainable operations, it needs to form an impact team. “Find the easy-to-change, high-impact opportunities early on, and begin creating and crafting goals as an organization which allow you to measure your effectiveness,” Meklir advises. “Also, look for internal efficiency gains that both help from a business process perspective and ultimately from a sustainability perspective.”
Investing in data management technology enables understanding one’s network and finding opportunities to become more sustainable. “To me, technology has brought streamlining about, freeing information from siloes and allowing a company to act a lot more cohesively across their entire ecosystem to be more effective.”
Meklir says it’s important to identify freight that isn’t optimal for certain networks, perhaps because the orders are too large or the freight is too sensitive. Or maybe the service-level expectation is so high that it doesn't fit well within a traditional hub-and-spoke network. Perhaps a company’s full truckload business is suboptimal because it’s moving half empty trucks at a full truckload price.
Optimizing such operations clearly reduces carbon emissions, he says.
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