Is It Possible to Build a Sustainable and Successful Logistics Business?

wooden palletsPhoto by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

In a fast-moving environment such as logistics, nothing must slow down progress. Whether that’s goods being located and packed in the warehouse or getting them ready to ship out to retailers, speed is of the essence. But does that need to be at the expense of making logistics unsustainable from an environmental standpoint?

In this article, we look at steps that can be taken to make logistics more sustainable and better for the environment despite the rapid movement of goods around the world. 

Understanding the Differences Between Plastic Uses

While things like plastic bags sometimes get a bad reputation due to their limited reusability, not all plastics are bad for the environment when they’re used properly.

Plastic is durable, long-lasting, and when designed right, is reusable. Another material, such as wood, isn’t anywhere near as tough, often breaks under pressure, and will need to be replaced by cutting down more trees. 

Another example is that in coffee stores, it’s better to use a coffee mug or a familiar plastic cup instead of the disposable cups because they can be washed and reused again and again. When plastics are reusable, instead of other materials that aren’t, then they’re being put to their best use. 

What Type of Pallets Are Good for Logistics?

For many years, companies involved with logistics used wooden pallets. They were either the default choice at the time or it’s what was available in the local area. However, companies are now frequently switching over to plastic pallets.

Why is this? Because they’re stronger, they can handle heavy loads without concern about the wooden pallet collapsing, and they’re safer too. There is no risk of wooden splinters during initial handling, so warehouse staff protect their hands from injury too. 

For companies that have used wooden pallets for years, the switch to plastic pallets sometimes requires a mental shift. However, the reduced waste when using pallets from Reusable Transport Packaging is a key point. The experience of their team allows them to guide a warehouse team as to whether stackable, rack-able or nestable plastic pallets are the right choice.

And once the switch is made, the waste is reduced forever. 

Avoiding Contamination Issues

With companies dealing with goods that must be kept sanitary throughout the supply chain, reusing pallets within the logistics operation has some concerns.

Risk of Wooden Pallets

For wooden pallets, they absorb moisture and bacteria which is then difficult to remove or disinfect. It’s also difficult to know whether they’re still hygienic or not because germs aren’t necessarily visible to the naked eye. 

It’s also worth pointing out that with the current added risk of Covid-19 in warehouses, these concerns are especially valid at this time. 

Plastic Pallets are Hygienic

Wiping down and sanitizing a plastic pallet is easily done with a disinfectant solution and a handy wipe. This disinfecting process is quick to do, and any remaining moisture is cleared off after the fact.

The result is reusable plastic pallets where warehouse managers don’t have to worry whether they’re safe to use or not. Indeed, this process can be done at the end of every shift to ensure continually sanitized conditions while there are ever-present concerns about viruses present in the workplace. 

When running a logistics business with a keen eye to sustainable practices, it reduces operational costs and increases the chances of long-term success. Even in places where machinery and automation having a growing influence, one mustn’t lose sight of the value of sustainability within the operations. Finding the right balance is important too.

Author: Justin Bean.

Justin is the Business Development and Sales Manager at Resuable Transport Packaging. RTP are an environmentally friendly reseller, distributor and manufacturer of a range of resuable packaging products. 

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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