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5 Sustainable Shipping Strategies That Save Your Business Money

The number of environmentally friendly consumers is on the rise. In a Statista survey, 45% of consumers said they were interested in finding sustainable or environmentally responsible brands. Likewise, 44% of shoppers said they were interested in brands that supported recycling. As the population becomes more aware of the impact of e-commerce on the environment, consumers have become more interested in shopping from sustainable brands. 

In many instances, brands will refrain from sustainable shipping strategies because they think it will cost them more money – but that isn’t always the case. Here are a few ways your business can help keep the earth green while putting more green in your pocket.


Opt for Ground Shipping

Ground shipping may be slower than priority mail, but it uses significantly less fuel. Plus, it costs less. Customers may have to wait a little longer than the two-day delivery they’re used to, but sticking to ground travel does significantly lower a business’s carbon footprint. Consider offering incentives, like discounts or reduced shipping costs to encourage ground shipping over priority. You’d be surprised how many shoppers will take the deal to both save and help the environment.     

Source Sustainable Packaging Materials

Most packing materials in the shipping industry are not sustainable, especially single-use, non-recyclable plastics. Where possible, choose custom packaging that is recycled or recyclable. Boxes and mailers made from recycled or compostable materials are often equally affordable as their non-recycled counterparts. Paper materials, like cardboard, are easy to recycle, so remind your customers to do their part in helping the planet either on the box’s packaging or within. With sustainable packaging becoming more widely available, it continues to be easier to implement this sustainable practice. You can also use Arka's custom eco-friendly boxes, for example custom retail boxes or mailer boxes.


Skip The Brown Box Entirely

If the product you’re mailing already comes in a cardboard box, why add another? Stick the shipping label on the product packaging and avoid paying to put the item in another box. Shipping products like this is referred to as “ships in own container,” or SIOC. Not only does this method reduce packaging materials, it also lowers the weight of the package and leads to packaging cost reduction. The downside to this approach is that boxes that clearly label their contents may be more tempting to porch pirates, so communicate with your carriers and your customers to ensure this does not become a problem.


Reduce Package Sizes

When fulfilling packages, how much space is usually leftover? There is a fair amount of spare room typically filled with air pillows or other filler materials. You can save on space and materials by reducing your package sizes to fit what is inside. This solution lessens the materials you have to use (and spend money on) and, in turn, shrinks your carbon footprint. This goes beyond the business sending the packages and leaves space for other packages on the same truck, plane, or boat. The more that fits, the less transportation is needed – and in turn, burn fewer fossil fuels.


Consolidate Customer Orders

With the demand for shipping to become faster, it’s common for e-commerce companies to ship out orders with multiple items as soon as each product is available. This results in more custom shipping boxes, more shipping fees, and more energy to be spent on delivery. Taking the time to fulfill orders with the products consolidated in one package before sending them out may be less time-efficient, but it is more environmentally efficient. If you’re not ready to give up speedy shipping for customers, consider making it an option at the checkout where shoppers can save if they’re willing to wait a little longer for their goods. 


How Going Green Can Save on Shipping

Avoiding unnecessary materials is the first step in a sustainable shipping strategy. Not only will it lessen a business’s carbon footprint, but it will also save them money on shipping rates and shipping materials. While these changes don’t always happen overnight, there is no better time than today to get started. You and your customers will be thankful you did.

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