Cargo shipping is big business. Cargo airlines are designated that when they are only responsible for moving cargo both within a country or around the globe. They provide services that are needed to manage and control the flow of information, energy, goods, products and services from the manufacturing point to the sales destination. An estimated $6.4 trillion in cargo were transported by the global aviation industry in 2012. If you are responsible for the door to door moving of products, you may want to find a more environmentally friendly way to get your shipping done.
Tips for a More Eco-Friendly Shipping Process:
- Use recycled bags and boxes for your shipping. Shipping your goods and products in recycled boxes and bags is one way to really green your shipping process. The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) has several levels of certification for boxes used in shipping. The labels on shipping boxes and bags do more than let you know the material contains some post-consumer recycled cardboard or paper but gives you the percentage of recycled content. You can also get boxes with ink that is not destructive to the environment.
- Make sure your filling material is also environmentally friendly. Include more paper products and less in the way of plastic. Styrofoam is terrible for the environment and should be avoided at all costs. The material is petroleum based and a lot of waste is created in its manufacturing process. Cargo companies are using newer and much more eco-friendly packaging process. Corrugated materials such as corrugated cardboard also work for different types of freight and are made from recycled materials and can be recycled after you are done using them.
- Reduce the size and volume of your shipment. When you are planning your door to door moving of products, try to plan your shipments so they are as small as possible. These will take up less space on the air and ocean cargo vessel and therefore cost you less to ship. Planning your shipments this way will improve your bottom line and also reduce your carbon footprint. One way to reduce the size of your shipments is to reduce the amount of packing material you use. If you need an example of a company that has totally minimized the amount of packing material it uses, you can look to Apple. They send out their products with only the smallest amount of packing materials.
- Some shipping companies boast their environmental policies. There is a program at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that can give you data on door to door moving companies that have lowered their emissions. This os called the “SmartWay” program. If you want to go with a more green company, you can find them on the EPA website. The environmental information on different American cargo shipping companies is kept up to date and accurate.
- Let your shipping company come to you. It is often a more environmentally sound policy to call the company and schedule a time for them to come to you to get your packages than for you to take your packages to them. They already have drivers in vans out on the road. Adding you to a driver’s route does not greatly increase their carbon footprint but having you make a special trip, greatly increases yours. You will have to check on the price.
- Have a green return policy. If you sell products online, you will have some returns .That is a normal part of doing business today. Try to consider the environment when you are writing up your return policy. Unless it would be prohibitively expensive, consider not asking customers to return defective products. Give them a suggestion about how to dispose of the faulty product and send them a new one. If you do take it back, see if you can refurbish it.
If you handle any door to door moving type shipments, you may always be on the lookout for ways to save money and be better to the environment. These are both great goals. Whether you ship only a little or a lot, you can work to reduce your impact on the environment.