The Freight Industry is Experiencing a Global Cultural Shift
Customers rarely think about all of the logistics that go on behind the scenes when they select same day shipping on their Amazon or online orders. It takes a lot of organization to process the order, get the product from the warehouse to the distribution center and from there onto a truck to the courier and to the front door.
Mandatory Green Initiatives for the Freight Industry
For freight the logistics are even more complex. Freighters are moving LTL and full load freight cross-country and around the globe. That adds up to a lot of CO2 emissions. The current need to maximize reductions in greenhouse gases through regulation and industry practices requires the freight industry to adopt a green culture.
While some companies in the industry have introduced green initiatives on their own, much of what is coming down the pike in regards to emissions regulations requires a complete change of culture; a green culture.
Take for instance in California. Through its ports, airports, and interstate, a considerable amount of cargo is being moved domestically and internationally:
- Freight makes up a third of California’s economy
- Freight and its affiliated industries brought in nearly three quarters of a trillion dollars in 2013
- Freight and its affiliates accounted for more than 5 million jobs in 2013
- Freight in all forms makes California the biggest portal for global and domestic business commerce in the U.S.
Meanwhile their cities have long been battling smog and climate change likely as a result of the massive transportation needs in California. That has led to plans for a sweeping raft of emissions cuts and sustainability requirements that will affect the entire freight industry.
Sustainability Can Make Trucking More Efficient
Some in the industry are fearful that these sweeping changes not just in California – but across the country – will hurt trucking companies, particularly small startups. There are federal initiatives that will require a big reduction in greenhouse emissions in as soon as fifteen years.
States like California are trying to make even bigger and faster cuts. That means transporters who intend to remain in business need to be proactive in adopting a new green culture within their businesses.
Yet for all of the handwringing, the move toward sustainability is having the effect of making trucking more efficient. Because of the need for fewer trucks and big rigs on the road to reduce CO2 emissions, freight exchanges are fast becoming a means to not only reduce gas emissions but to reduce costs.
It makes pricing more competitive and allows even small or startup up companies to leverage their costs through broker services like GlobalTranz. Shippers can have their product moved in real-time using a variety of different carriers so that no load returns empty.
The Costs of Adopting a Green Culture
Coming down the pike are regulatory changes that will impact the cost of doing business. Not only that, the importance of making sure that down chain suppliers and carriers are in compliance will also perhaps limit the leverage that a surplus of choices offers to small and startup businesses.
Clearly freighters want to make a healthy profit and any additional costs to an already cost laden industry could push some out of the business. Therefore what will be required is for the freight industry to not only be proactive but to embrace a green culture.
Using Advanced Technology to Go Green
Since 1989 when the Ceres Principles were adopted, many industries were able to take advantage of the opportunity to begin implementing green culture decades ago, including many in the freight industry.
Today, the voluntary 10-point corporate code of conduct that focuses on reducing business’ environmental impact will become less of a recommendation and more of a necessity of doing business. Using advanced technology to go green can make it much easier to adapt.
As technology continues to accelerate at a breakneck pace, interconnectivity will make these changes cost efficient and easier to adopt. Some examples include:
- Global Real-Time Data for Shipments
- Wireless Technology Allowing Mobile Communication with Drivers, Ports, and Customers
- Easy Data Aggregation for Better Analysis for System-Wide Improvements
- Software that Enables Brokers to Connect Suppliers and Carriers Faster
It is good news for those businesses that already have a green culture in place. For others, the time is now to start implementing and preparing for state, local, and federal environmental regulatory changes.
Staying ahead of the curve by adopting a green culture for the freight industry improves technologies and will also be imperative to remain competitive. All in all, adopting a green culture in freight can be a win-win for all sides. Successful adoption starts with embracing change rather than resisting it.