Greener international freight and shipping

I ordered something online recently and to my horror noticed that it was sent from Melbourne to Sydney and then from there to Adelaide.

That was a total of around 2300 kilometers. If it had been sent from Melbourne directly to Adelaide, that would have only been around 700 kilometers – so it was approximately 1600 kilometers (1,000 miles) of extra fuel and emissions to ship the 50kg (110 lb) item. Eeek!

I’m not sure whether this was the usual way things travel via this particular agent, but it seems awfully inefficient, not to mention the additional impact on the environment.

That’s a local example, but when it comes to international freight, the number of unnecessary miles can be horrendous – it’s not unusual to have goods making stops in countries located in a totally different direction.

Co-ordinating freight effectively must be a mind boggling task, but it makes good sense to cut every mile possible as added distance also impacts on a freight company’s bottom line.

Corinne Waite contacted me yesterday about new green shipping company she’s working with called First Global Xpress (FGX). She writes:

“Basically, they’ve thrown the traditional hub-and-spoke method used by FedEx, UPS and DHL that sends your packages on at least two flights before reaching its final destination and have instead developed a unique, new business model. FGX partners with over 100 commercial airlines so that a package will reach its final destination in one direct flight, therefore reducing carbon emissions by at least 30% per package.

Additionally, FGX will deliver a package 24 hours sooner and for 20% less cost than its competitors. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, FGX’s packaging materials are all constructed from recycled materials, and vegetable-based inks are used for all printing done within the office. So, FGX functions as a green business both in concept and practice”

Sounds like a great concept – you can learn more about First Global Xpress (FGX) here.

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Food miles and sustainability