What Sustainability Means for the Transportation and Logistics Industry

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What Sustainability Means for the Transportation and Logistics Industry

May 6, 2020

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, freight transportation is a large contributor to air pollution. The transportation sector is responsible for over 50% of total nitrogen oxide, over 30% of volatile organic compounds, and over 20% of particulate emissions inventory in the United States. By 2025, shipment projections are expected to increase another 23.5%, a total of 45 %by 2040.

These staggering numbers make it even more imperative for the trucking and logistics industry to make sustainability a priority. Atlas Logistics and its agents understand the environmental impact of transporting goods around the globe and are committed to making a difference.
A-1 Moving & Storage, led by values of excellence, professionalism, and integrity, has earned high Atlas honors for very happy customers. A family-owned moving company since 1972, is also known as an eco-conscious leader in the Atlas family, as they were the first official sustainable agent through Atlas’ Sustainable Agent Certification.

When A-1 became a part of the Atlas agent network in 1974, Andy Newitt, director of business development for A-1, brought with him a background in sustainability. Previously the president of the Florida Movers Association, he rolled out an incentive program for drivers and employees to recycle, reuse and sort large volumes of cardboard and plastic wrap that frequent the trucking industry.

Sustainability can look different for every company and industry, but one big change that has been noticed throughout the transportation industry is the switch to industry-standard plastic ‘totes’ instead of cardboard boxes when possible. While these not only reduce the amount of cardboard and single-use plastic being used in each job, they can cut down costs for the consumer and company as well.

Luckily, there are many ways for warehouses, offices and logistics companies to incorporate sustainability into daily operations. By following A-1’s example, the following practices can ensure a facility is causing as little harm to the environment as possible:
  • Installing automatic switches that turn restrooms and office lights off and on
  • Introducing programmable thermostats, water heater clocks and using a water heater insulation blanket
  • Programming desktop monitors to turn off at five minutes of inactivity and shut down over the weekend.
  • Collecting and reusing moving boxes and packing paper when possible, then ultimately recycling
Beyond reducing physical waste, there are a few tricks to eliminating emissions from 18-wheeler vehicles utilized by logistics providers. By bringing the freight closer to the cab, this reduces the amount of emission into the environment along with aerodynamic panel skirts, side panels, or side skirts, reducing drag and saving fuel.
The aforementioned trends will be critical to transportation and warehouse companies navigating the industry throughout the next decade. No matter the opportunities or challenges, sustainability is where trucking and logistics will gain a competitive edge while making a meaningful environmental impact.