Archive for November, 2011

 

Instituting Green Logistics Initiatives in Your Supply Chain

The environmental space is not interested in whether your company makes money or not. Their main concern is how you are impacting our air, water and natural resources. Hazardous and solid waste disposal and packaging have been identified as the leading issues in green logistics. The industry is pushing for measures that will tighten up regulations in order to ensure that the carbon footprint left on this planet is minimal.

“Greening” is the term used for a wide range of environmental concerns, and is usually thought of in a positive way. It is thought of as something beneficial to the planet and to the people who inhabit it. In terms of “greening”  logistics, the industry has made great strides in the last decade to begin tightening the gap between what can impact the planet and what can still make a business profitable. The answer is reverse logistics.

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Retailers, Beware of Hidden Hazmat in Returns

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), Council on Safe Transportation of Hazardous Articles (COSTHA) and federal, state and local entities addressing the handling of hazardous materials (hazmat) are constantly updating regulations and procedures. With growing concern for the environment, there is more pressure on the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers as to how they should properly handle items being returned by the consumer.

Within the next 3-5 years, there is expected to be an increase in products being discarded and returned, as well as more regulations that will affect everyone along your supply chain. With more demand on manufacturers to produce more advanced high-tech products, and the lifespan of products getting shorter and shorter, the number of potentially hazardous products being returned or discarded annually will increase exponentially. This means that reverse logistics in your supply chain is going to become more complex. Many items you may not think contain hazardous material actually can be the most dangerous.

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Remanufactured in the USA

For years,U.S.companies have found that by outsourcing to developing nations, they can save money on labor and manufacturing costs, while maintaining stable transportation costs. Many companies, especially smaller or new ones, are not equipped to handle all the aspects of their businesses in-house. Due to the costs of purchasing and setting up equipment, as well as training a staff, it is often more cost effective to outsource some activities to other companies who specialize in specific areas.

But that tide seems to be turning now, as developing nations are growing and becoming economically more viable. Due to increasing wages and transportation costs overseas, the cost of doing business offshore is rising.

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