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Green Logistics: Transforming The Supply Chain For A Sustainable Future

Varun Visruthan, Regional Director of Addverb, offers his experience and observations on the subject…

As the world becomes more focused on sustainability, businesses across all industries are exploring ways to reduce their environmental impact. One of the ways enterprises do this is by adopting green logistics, also known as sustainable logistics. This trend focuses on reducing the environmental impact of transportation and distribution of goods involved in maintaining global commerce. By embracing a range of green logistics strategies, companies can achieve a sustainable supply chain, reduce operational costs, improve their business reputation, and fulfil corporate social responsibility.

One of how companies can adopt green logistics is by using electric or hybrid vehicles for transportation. This reduces the amount of fuel consumed, resulting in lower emissions. Optimizing routes to minimize fuel consumption and emissions is another strategy companies can use. Companies can also reduce their environmental impact by implementing waste reduction and recycling programs. Automation can also be used to improve the efficiency and accuracy of intralogistics operations, such as by implementing real-time tracking and monitoring systems.

Warehouse operations are an essential aspect of green logistics, and there are several strategies that companies can use to reduce their environmental impact. One such approach is using robotics and automation systems such as the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). This system can help companies use the vertical space of their warehouses, reducing the facility’s overall footprint. This reduces the cost of buildings and land, and there is also less area to heat or light up, resulting in energy savings. This is especially important in applications of frozen warehouses, where there are fewer walls and roofs to absorb heat from the outside, resulting in lower refrigeration costs.

With real-time inventory updates from advanced Warehouse Management Software (WMS), warehouse managers can quickly effectuate FIFO (the first-in-first-out) method to reduce inventory wastage with fixed shelf lives. AI-powered software provides analytics to predict demand and accordingly creates inventory. Inventory can also be managed at forward locations such as smaller warehouses or micro-fulfilment centres (MFCs) to not only improve consumer experience but also reduce on-road transportation of vehicles or reduce vehicles with suboptimal capacity utilization. Smart Fleet Management Systems (FMS) and Truck Management Software can combine inventory management with efficient transportation by planning inventory routes, task allocation, and scheduling.

A fully automated warehouse can be seen as a lights-out (dark) warehouse with almost no human involvement. When space is better utilized, operations are optimized to every bit, and wastage is reduced significantly; there is less space to illuminate, less distance to transport, and less waste to process. In addition, it increases the efficiency, reliability, and accuracy of warehousing operations.

Companies that adopt green logistics strategies may require a higher upfront investment, but the payoff in energy consumption and environmental impact is better in the long run. For example, an automation solution provider with hardware and software capabilities, such as Addverb, can offer a range of strategies to help companies reduce their environmental impact. This includes using efficient motor drives, reusing energy from braking, and using the latest battery technology with the most extended life cycle.

The future of logistics is green, and companies that embrace sustainable practices are better positioned to succeed in the long run. By reducing their environmental impact and building a reputation for sustainability, companies can attract customers and partners who share their commitment to a sustainable future. In addition, sustainable practices can help companies to reduce their operational costs, improve their business reputation, and fulfil their corporate social responsibility. As traditional oil-producing countries move towards electrical-based production, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to adopt green logistics strategies to remain competitive and ensure a sustainable future.

From Logistics News ME May 2023 Issue


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