Bringing deliveries into the era of the responsible economy

In 2021, online sales increased by 7% in France and with them the number of deliveries. While this growth is shaping up to be good news for merchants, the planet can’t say the same, especially considering that in 86% of transactions, home deliveries use disposable packaging.

While the report of the working group number II of the IPCC, published on February 28, confirmed the acceleration of the consequences of climate change, how to transform the entire supply chain so that it becomes more virtuous? If technology brings part of the answers, nothing will be possible as long as a change of mentality does not take place.

Raise collective awareness of the impact of deliveries

Are we really aware of the impact of our online purchases on the planet? Freight transport accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Before arriving in our mailboxes, objects travel around the globe by boat, plane, truck, in the back of a van or a bicycle. During their journey, they change packaging and transport labels several times to meet the specifications of each carrier or their customers.

Once delivered, the question of waste treatment (packaging, labels, bubble wrap, etc.) related to the delivery arises. The French government plans to recycle all plastic by 2025. And yet, while it represents 64% of plastic waste, only 28% of plastic packaging and objects are recycled today.

Recycling is however far from being a Holy Grail since it means that an object will not be reused or repaired. Awareness must therefore be raised among professionals and consumers alike so that together they choose solutions that have less impact on the environment.

New technologies, the key to sustainable logistics

The IoT is at the center of tomorrow’s logistics: the use of tracers and sensors makes it possible to gather data and empower each actor in logistics. By using the blockchain, delivery information is recorded in real time and securely.

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning algorithms then intervene to process this data. They are able to predict and optimize the number of parcels per shipment, the routes taken, preferred times, storage space management and last-mile delivery. It is important that all these systems are connected to each other and communicate to create a truly intelligent logistics network.

Delivering better also means producing less

Packaging can be produced more responsibly thanks to the evolution of materials and the appearance of infinitely recyclable plastics such as EPP (expanded polypropylene). Also more robust, they become reusable and reduce the use of cardboard. Finally, they are designed to include wedging and label display systems, eliminating the need for bubble wrap, adhesive, polystyrene, etc.

Shipments are better protected and their contents can now be permanently monitored thanks to integrated sensors. Less breakage, theft or loss contributes to less waste and therefore less production to promote the reuse of objects. Indeed, this logistical development will support the growing enthusiasm of consumers around the world for the reuse of objects. Once at the end of their life, it will still be possible to recover them through reconditioning, repair or recycling.

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Sources:
* Fevad: have-spent-129-billion-euros-on-the-internet/
* Usine Nouvelle: https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/la-france-cancre-europeen-du-recyclage-de-plastiques.N636693
* News-Environment: