Operating a sustainable supply chain

25 November 2019
Operating a sustainable supply chain

Leading companies are looking for ways to operate more sustainably on a global scale. In order to preserve our planet we must all be working together to provide more sustainable practices and processes. It is vital that we adapt to changing conditions and commit to the inevitable changes where possible.

The Freight forwarding and Logistics industry plays an important role within the global economy and therefore a critical part in observing our environmental impact. When trying to improve sustainability, transport solutions is an area where a big difference can be made. With a variety of services such as air freight, sea freight and road freight there is of course a risk to inefficiency in supply chain logistics.

There are a number of ways these risks can occur, which we can categorise by external or internal risks.

External Risks to Efficiency:

These outside threats can be encouraged by events happening either ‘upstream’ or ‘downstream’ in the supply chain. These are the 5 main areas where risks can occur externally:

Demand risks – caused by unpredictable or misunderstood customer or end-customer demand.

Supply risks – caused by any interruptions to the flow of product, whether raw material or parts, within the supply chain.

Environmental risks – from outside the supply chain; usually related to economic, social, governmental, and climate factors, including the threat of terrorism.

Business risks – caused by factors such as a supplier’s financial or management stability, or purchase and sale of supplier companies.

Physical plant risks – caused by the condition of a supplier’s physical facility and regulatory compliance.

Internal Risks to Efficiency:

The Internal risks provide better opportunity for reduction as they are within the business’s control.

These are the 5 main areas of internal risks:

Manufacturing risks – can be caused by disruptions to internal operations or processes.

Business risks – can be caused in a number of different ways; changes in key personnel, management, reporting structures or business processes, such as the way purchasers communicate to suppliers and customers.

Planning and control risks – may be caused by inadequate assessment and planning, which amount to ineffective management.

Mitigation and contingency risks – caused by not putting contingencies (or alternative solutions) in place in case something goes wrong.

Cultural risks – caused by a business’s cultural tendency to hide or delay negative information. Such businesses are generally slower to react when impacted by unexpected events.

Within supply chain operations there are clearly a number of risks to inefficiency due to the number of variants involved along the process. In order to provide optimal service across networks we should be looking at all these variants, from locations of warehousing, to load optimisation, to the size of fleets and its environmental efficiency and impacts . Our philosophy as a Group it to deliver streamlined and efficient supply chain solutions to ensure we maintain our responsible commitment to the environment.. This approach will not only impact the world we live in but fulfil the demand for more sustainable practices, whilst increasing our business value as an international freight management provider moving forward.

Within our freight forwarding division we are implementing a number of operational practices to ensure the most sustainable approach possible. We support retailers with efficient volume planning and consolidation services, load optimisation and efficient route planning to ensure there is no unnecessary mileage.

Our environmental commitment in action

As a priority, we source and monitor the use of low emission vehicles. We continually develop our route planning and vehicle monitoring to improve load optimisation, ensuring vehicles are moving at full capacity where possible and reduce transport miles. Through our Pan European operation we proactively allocate or procure local vehicles to available cargoes, which significantly reduces potential empty running of vehicles. Avoiding congestion and reducing idle time are key areas we promote with our own vehicles and suppliers, which further assist in the reduction of emissions.

We have in place a sophisticated Carrier Management System called CMS CarrierNet to manage the Company’s large database of carriers. All carriers on the system are fully vetted and verified. As part of this process carriers must provide evidence of their relevant insurances and agree to abide to our supplier terms and conditions. The system plays a pivotal role in our commitment to minimise carbon footprint as it allows our operators to seamlessly identify and deploy the most appropriate equipment to meet a customer’s freight requirement. the system will present to the user all the most suitable carriers in terms of a defined set of inputted criteria – for example: carrier rating, vehicle and equipment type, geographical location and coverage, mileage considerations, load capacity, and rates. Subsequently, the tool highlights the carrier(s) and routes that offer the least environmental footprint impact for the delivery of goods.

Our target is continuous improvement of environmental protection throughout the Group

We seek to reduce transport miles by consolidation efficiencies and back load optimisation, and shift to the most environmentally friendly mode of transport and vehicles where feasible. We are focused on developing an environmentally  transport and logistics solutions that are responsible and sustainable.

As a leading freight management company, at the Xpediator Plc Group we help customers position themselves to make better decisions earlier, and respond faster to changing consumer demand, with a supply chain that’s more agile and transparent. Helping customers to operate an environmentally efficient supply chain, reduce lead times, inventories and associated transport, handling and storage costs.

 

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