Browse Tag

going green

Shrinking the Carbon Footprint of Transportation: Earth Day 2012

To commemorate Earth Day 2012, we believe a proper “shout out” to Mother Nature is in order. People say the driving force behind the nation’s economy is the trucking industry. That’s a logical rationale considering nine million people help transport eleven billion tons of freight annually. In regard to these figures, BlueGrace® Logistics asks not only what the freight and shipping industry can do for you, but what can transportation do for the planet?

Sustainability efforts do not come in a one-size-fits-all box, here are methods to shrink your carbon footprint and reduce waste on either end of the supply chain!

Shippers/Warehousing:

      • Motion sensors:Only illuminate
        Shipping Pallet Garden Wows Visitors at the Canada Blooms Garden Festival
        Shipping Pallet Garden
        areas when a truck or other vehicle is actually present at the pickup point.
      • Solar panels: Utilize natural energy and light from the sun, thus reducing energy consumption, or… add a skylight!
      • Packaging materials: Biodegradable packing peanuts made from renewable resources are a great aid in the quest for sustainability. Companies such as StarchTech, produce packaging alternatives that dissolve in water after use.
      • Pallet-sharing programs: Thousands of pallet recyclers buy/sell pallets to create a comprehensive retrieval network. If a pallet cannot be reused for shipments, grind it down to reuse as mulch, animal bedding, or create a pallet garden!

Drivers:

      • Speed Reduction: The easiest (and safest!) step to take. Reducing your speed from 75 to 65 saves up to 27% of fuel and reduces carbon emissions by approximately 31.5 million tons!
      • Idling time: If you’re on a long haul that requires overnight rest, take advantage of truck auxiliary units or truck stop electrification systems to heat or cool your truck instead of wasting diesel while in idle.
      • Accessories and Equipment: Low viscosity lubricants can be used to reduce friction. Monitoring tire pressure regularly is also an efficient step towards fuel-economy.

Carriers:

      • Aerodynamic/engine modifications: Install aerodynamic panels on trailers and replace older engines with new, environmentally friendly engines.
      • Alternative fuel: Biomethane gas emits 50% less carbon than current diesel standard and is derived from organic matter in landfill sites. Coca-Cola Enterprises was the 1st in the logistics sector to invest in biomethane trucks.
      • Collaborative distribution: Merge different loads destined for the same end point to maximize trucking efficiency.

It’s easy to take a pro-active hold on the planet’s future. If you or your company is “Going green” we’d love to hear from you! Comment below and tell us about the steps you’re taking to make a difference!

BlueGrace takes pride in its involvement with the community and sustainability efforts. Several carriers in our network are SmartWay Certified. Naturally, a 3PL is a green solution to manage your logistics needs as BlueGrace operates from web-based systems or cloud computing thus reducing paper waste, consolidates your freight bills into a single invoice, and allows you to select the best carrier to move your goods – saving you green!

Let’s reduce the carbon footprint in your supply chain together! To learn more about how BlueGrace can help increase efficiencies in your logistics processes, shoot us an email or call 800.MY.SHIPPING today!

– Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Follow @BG_JennyD on Twitter

Cocoa Collaborators Exemplify Holiday Spirit

Hershey and Ferrero Group collaborative distributionSo the holiday season is upon us once again. ‘Tis the season of love, laughter, and generosity of spirit. While candy canes and mistletoe are abound, one more important element comes to mind. It’s the element that makes perfect stocking stuffers and the element that continuously gets sent to BlueGrace Logistics and ends up in our break room. The one that seduces the indulgent heart of ladies everywhere and it’s certainly not sugar plums. That’s right—rich, creamy chocolate. In the true peaceful spirit of the holidays, two goliaths of the chocolate world, Hershey Company and The Ferrero Group joined forces in October in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint on the world–what a match made in chocolaty heaven. The competitors allied together through joint warehousing, transportation and distribution. Joy to the world! Now if only they could celebrate by giving out samples of their yummy goods everywhere (Merry Christmas to me)!  Hershey, alone ships over 100,000 outbound refrigerated truckloads annually. Holy toothache, batman!

I read in a manufacturers survey that, in unions such as these, supply chain savings and new growth are high atop the priority list of many large global manufacturers. About half of companies surveyed said reshaping supply chains was a top priority. Though collaborative distribution is indeed a growing trend (across all industries), adoption is slow and is still very much under-utilized in my opinion. For middle-market companies that lack the volume to ship in full truckloads, this method just seems the sensible alternative. With fewer deliveries, less road congestion, reduced energy use and more efficient receiving at the retailer’s distribution center, it’s much more economical and mutually beneficial for both parties involved. Who wouldn’t want to save money while saving the planet?

So, I think these “green”, confectionary trailblazers are setting a terrific example for fellow shippers in their supply chain operations. My hope is that this distribution model will become more of a standard in the future of logistics. All I’m saying is that if Santa Claus could strike up some kind of collaborative supply chain deal, that jolly old man could end up back in the North Pole with his feet up and out of those boots a lot faster and maybe afford to give those elves a raise too.

Are you jumping on board the “green” train this holiday season? Any collaborative distribution plans in the near future? Comment on this blog and let us know!

– Jennifer Masters, Business Information Analyst
Follow me @BG_JennyD

News: Go Green!

Today, the truck fuel standards for 2014-2018 were announced. These standards should help the trucking industry save approximately $50 billion and cut oil use by 530 million barrels by 2018. This is great news for the industry and the environment. This is great news for our country’s dependence on oil. As the ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said, “While it is too early to know all the potential effects of this rule, we do know it sets us on the path to a future where we depend less on foreign oil, spend less on fuel and contribute less to climate change.”

The National Wildlife Federation said the long-term impact of the fuel economy standards would cut 639 million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution by 2030. These standards won’t go into effect overnight and the ATA is actually calling for more standards to cut fuel use, such as a 65 mph speed limit for all vehicles. Trucking companies and manufacturers will have plenty of time to develop and deploy new technology to meet these standards.

So here is my question for you. What are you doing to help the environment? What is your company doing to “Go Green”? Find ways to create a better environment for our future. Start recycling at home. Find out if anyone wants to carpool to work. Maybe start a campaign to use less paper at the office like BlueGrace. Whatever your idea may be, find a way!

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Today’s Transportation and Logistics News:
Trucking Capacity Index Climbs 8.8 Percent
Transportation Stocks Lead Market Dive
Obama Urges Transport Spending, Tax Cut Extension
Trade agreement with Panama still on hold
Ensuring economic prosperity for the future by investing in transportation
Diesel Drops Steeply; Oil Hits Lowest Price This Year
Obama Seeks 20% Reduction in U.S. Big-Rig Truck Fuel Use by 2018

Daily Transportation and Logistics News – June 29, 2011

Senate Sets Action on Free Trade Agreements

A Senate panel will take steps this week to break a deadlock in Washington over three major free trade agreements that have been stalled over their potential impact on American workers. The three FTAs are with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

US DOT Announces $1.6 Billion for Transit Projects

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced $1.58 billion for 27 transit projects nationwide that will improve public transportation access for millions of Americans while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and curbing air pollution.

Coast Guard, EPA Agree on Pollution Enforcement

Two years ago the US adopted international standards for regulating exhaust emissions from ships. The Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency agreed on what roles they will play in enforcing Annex VI of the International Convention for Prevention of Pollutions from Ships.

A Path to a Budget Pact

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner discusses the US deficit, Europe’s woes and the overhauling of the corporate tax system.

Some state DOTs promote tolls on interstate highways

Without a lot of federal dollars to be had for states to make large-scale repairs of upgrades to interstate highways, some officials want permission for more interstates to be converted into toll roads. This is something the OOIDA adamantly opposes.

DOT Sending Emergency Highway Funds to North Dakota

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced he is making $5 million in quick release emergency funds available to the North Dakota DOT to immediately begin restoring federal-aid highways damaged by flooding.

– Ben Dundas, Web Analyst
Follow me @ben37dBG

Social Responsibility: How Creative Can You Be?

Although the “going green” hype has seemed to quiet, I came across an article on thedailygreen.com that mentioned the use of shipping containers for homes, portable stores, and even skyscrapers. Now that is a bright and useful idea!  Of course, not just any one can find a shipping container and “Wah-Lah! Here’s my house!”  However, take note of the bigger meaning – it is important to think of and utilize our goods in all ways possible so that we are getting the biggest bang for our buck while preserving the planet at the same time. It’s a win-win for all

I think we can all agree that this year is already flying by and time is precious. Each day is valuable and presents opportunities that just can’t be passed up.  There is always room for improvement and although the “going green” message is not as popular or in-our-face as it has been, we should each take the initiative and attempt to make our steps a little greener

In application to business, I believe that companies in general can apply the message learned from this innovative movement to its products and services offered. Growth of a company is supported and encouraged by making wise use of all resources and providing the best solutions in the industry of focus.  Here at BlueGrace Logistics, we encourage going paperless in your supply chain by utilizing our technology, BlueShip™.  How simple!  We also have an optimization tool called “Mojo” that allows companies to reduce their carbon footprint using mode optimization to eliminate excess miles when shipping their products.  Hopefully in the future, companies become more socially responsible as there is an increased awareness of the impact they have on our environment. So the question is, how creative can you be?  What simple change can your business commit to in the new year, which benefits the Earth and generations to come? 

Make your space green with these tips!
http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/eco-friendly/green-your-office?click=main_sr
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/community-news/green-office-tips-55010309?click=main_sr
social responsibility | green efforts
Article Referenced: http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/shipping-container-homes-460309?click=main_sr

– Samantha Hill, Operations Support Associate
Follow me @SamHill_BG