Take a look around—do you see any personal computers, tablets, mobile devices, or cellphones nearby? You most likely do; after all, technology has become a common aspect of our daily lives. In fact, Gartner reports that in 2018, the number of worldwide combined device shipments will increase by 1.6% percent to 2017, amounting to almost 2.4 billion units.
Now, consider the air freight industry. Sandler Research projects the worldwide air freight market’s compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) will increase by 5.97% between 2014 and 2019. With its reliability and high-speed delivery capabilities, air freight continues to be a favorite shipping method for many industries, including the technology sector.
And while using air freight has its appeal, it is important to consider its environmental impact as well. As more tech companies focus on environmental consciousness as part of their social responsibility goals, an eco-friendly logistics provider is one of the best tools a tech company can use to minimize its carbon footprint.
Before anything else, think about how you will ship your product.
Tech companies can become more “green” even before the shipping process begins. With smart packaging, you can develop a better weight-volume mix, meaning more units per container. With more units per container, it is possible to ship fewer containers overall, thus decreasing CO2 emissions.
The other benefit from smart packaging is that, given less containers, your logistics provider will need less protective wrapping per shipment. This minimizes the waste material left for you to pay to dispose upon arrival, saving both money and resources. If you would rather avoid protective wrapping altogether, request your logistics supplier propose an approach that will work for you while still being green, such as multiboxes.
What service does your shipment require?
Ask yourself: How quickly does my shipment need to arrive?
If your cargo needs to get to its destination fast, shipping via air will meet that need, but you should be aware of other options when speed is not a factor. If your shipment can wait a little longer or if you are shipping products in advance, other transportation methods will work just as well, while also reducing your CO2 emissions. For good measure, check whether your logistics provider has the ability to seamlessly switch you to ocean freight or road transport.
Nearshoring tech companies will find this kind of provider particularly valuable. As nearshoring companies move their offshoring operations from a distant country to a closer location, they will have the opportunity to use more than just air freight to ship devices. Instead, they can work alongside logistics to explore alternate, yet reliable and eco-friendly, solutions.
Now that you are almost ready to ship, stay in control
If you consider your options and find that air freight is the best solution for you, then there is still one more step you can take to lower your environmental impact.
At this point, you will want to explore the best flight path for your shipment and see how much CO2 it will emit. Your logistics supplier should offer a service to help you visualize the different routes your shipment could take, then accurately calculate each route’s carbon footprint—the more routes available, the more informed your decision will be. For instance, you could use shorter, direct flights or clever combinations of air freight, ocean freight and road to maximize efficiency and environmental consciousness.
All in all, make sure to collaborate with a supplier that understands your needs and can guarantee your shipping needs will not compete with your environmental goals.