Who says you can't have your green cake (make mine with organic flour and sugar) and eat it too? According to a recent Supply Chain Digest article, there's a hard dollar economic incentive for companies and transportation providers to move to more efficient forms of transportation with a lower carbon footprint. It's all tied to the fuel surcharge (FSC). The article notes that as modes of "transport becomes more fuel efficient, the FSC per ton-mile should be less. So as a shipper shifts from truckload (TL) service to intermodal service to rail service, the amount they pay on FSC per ton-mile should decrease."
What are other green ways to reduce transportation costs? It goes without saying that "reducing miles" and "improving load factors" can play to both sides of the green equation, as the article also notes. Given this, let's hope that companies begin to invest as much thought into packing, palletizing, and shipment models as they have in unit cost and their total landed cost (and carbon footprint) equations. Another reason for procurement to get closer to supply chain and logistics teams within their companies? You betcha.
- Jason Busch