In the book “Green Logistics” written by professor Allan Mckinnon and others, green logistics is compromised into five main areas: reducing freight transport externalities, city logistics, reverse logistics, corporate environmental strategies towards logistics, and green supply chain management.
A more general definition of the concept is that green logistics describes all attempts to measure and minimise the ecological impact of logistics activities. In practice, green logistics should be implemented in such a way that there are benefits for these three stakeholders; economy, environment, and society.
So, how can we find ways of implementing this concept, striking three birds with one stone?
The following questions may be asked by logistics service providers, but also by shippers who want to ensure that their logistics service providers employ services as green as possible.
One thing should be clear: If we manage to use less energy to move goods from origin to destination, it will lead to a decrease in the cost of movement and a decrease in greenhouse emissions. Even if the vehicle is electric, the energy has to come from somewhere. To minimise the use of energy, all logistics units and other transportation resources should always high the highest fill rate as possible. Hence, load factors should approach 100% on long hauls and be close to 100% when vehicles leave terminals for last mile deliveries.
The MIXMOVE Match solution is developed to facilitate this. It can be used in terminals (hubs) to bundle freight flows and reconstruct cargo at the parcel level to ensure the best possible use of transportation resources. The solution can be implemented in any terminal without any changes to existing physical or information infrastructures.
One thing is filling all trucks and other transport means properly. Another aspect is making sure that they move as efficiently as possible, such as taking the smartest route to its destination, avoiding traffic jam, roadblocks, and other things that can cause time delays.
MIXMOVE Deliver, together with Match, allocates cargo to trucks and dynamically optimises routes for trucks. If requests for pickups (returns etc.) is received while the trucks are moving, optimisation will make sure that new stops and cargo assignments are taken into account, again, ensuring the most efficient route and the least possible use of energy.
Peter Drucker, one of the management thinkers of the past said that “If you can't measure it, you can't improve it”. This statement is particularly relevant when trying to implement green supply chains. To make sure that you are making your logistics operations greener, you need to continuously measure your operations. This means capturing and processing all kinds of events (status) to assess the performance of all logistics processes in use.
To do this properly, all information exchange between logistics stakeholders needs to be electronic. Information capture needs to start as early as possible in the chain or network. This requires shippers to provide all information relevant to logistics in electronic form. With our Ship solution, shippers can be enabled to define and label all of their shipments and consignments.
Combined with MIXMOVE Match and MIXMOVE Deliver (which also capture all relevant events throughout the operations) the performance of all logistics processes can be analysed and trimmed, making it possible to ensure and document that the logistics operations are as green as possible.