More Speed Means More Emissions? A Practical Reasoning

“Synergy” is when forces are combined to achieve an overall greater result. In the logistics sector, this philosophy is self-evident, to the extreme that we speak of a veritable “logistics chain”.

It is with great pleasure that today we “join forces” with you to answer an interesting question from a reader.

Through our social media, they wrote to us about the increase in same-day deliveries by Amazon, posing a very pertinent question:

“In terms of pollution, what has been the impact of Amazon’s reduced delivery times? Wouldn’t it be smarter to accept delivery a day later, especially for individuals, to allow couriers to optimize their routes?”

This question is legitimate and important because when we talk about logistical “efficiency,” environmental issues must always be at the top of the agenda.

Apparently, the increase in same-day deliveries could mean a reduction in the possibility of ” grouping ” shipments, with a consequent increase in the necessary trips and, therefore, emissions.

However, the issue is more complex than it might seem at first glance. Let’s analyze some aspects together that might offer a different perspective.

Logistical Efficiency and Emissions Reduction

Let’s look at the data released by Amazon: in 2022, the company reported a 0.4% reduction in overall emissions despite a 9% increase in sales.

This indicates that it is possible to increase logistical speed (same-day deliveries) while simultaneously reducing environmental impact. But how do they manage it?

Optimization Mechanisms

  • Sales and Shipping Volumes: Thanks to its enormous sales volumes, Amazon can optimize the load capacity of transportation vehicles even with same-day deliveries. This means that, despite the speed of deliveries, the vehicles are always used to their maximum capacity, thus reducing the number of necessary trips.

 

  • Proximity Logistics: Same-day deliveries require a network of ”nearby” warehouses and distribution centres, close to the end customers. This organisation reduces the distances travelled to deliver goods, thereby cutting emissions per delivery.

 

  • Returns Reduction: Faster deliveries reduce the risk of late returns. Consider, for example, gifts that don’t arrive on time: each return represents an additional trip and, therefore, an increase in emissions. By reducing returns through faster delivery, there is significant logistical savings and, consequently, a smaller environmental impact.

 

A Success Story

These factors, though not exhaustive, partly explain how Amazon has achieved dual success: on the one hand, improving its market performance; on the other, complying with and often exceeding environmental regulations.

Your question allowed us to clarify how same-day deliveries, although it may seem counter-intuitive from an environmental point of view, it can actually be a factor of efficiency.

Thanks to advanced logistical management, it is possible to combine delivery speed and environmental sustainability.

Our Perspective

Logistics4You, also operating in the express transportation sector, highly values efficiency and optimization factors: delivery times, which are always as fast as possible, as well as from an environmental point of view.

Our Euro 6 vans comply with the lowest emission standards, thus reducing the level of emissions. Moreover, by shipping goods with Logistics4You, you are assured that there will be no intermediate handling, additional loading and unloading in warehouses, but that the route will always be the most direct to the recipient.

We firmly believe that speed does not necessarily mean increased emissions. With proper organization and the use of advanced technologies, it is possible to achieve a balance between service speed and respect for the environment.

Conclusion

The synergy between logistical efficiency and environmental sustainability is not only possible but also necessary for the future of our sector. Your question has given us the opportunity to reflect on how we can continually improve our processes to offer an increasingly faster service while respecting the environment.

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