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Collaboration in Supply Chain for E-commerce sector’s transition

According to a WEF analysis, the realm of same-day and express delivery is unfolding at an accelerating pace — boasting annual growth rates of 36% and 17%. To put this into perspective, 72% of all consumers can already access the convenience of Amazon’s 24-hour delivery service. Meanwhile, in China, approximately 3 million same-day and express deliveries made daily — surpassing that of their European counterparts by more than double. The numbers does not conclude there. A recent MIT study has brought to light that packaging contributes up to 2/3 of green house gas emissions in the e-commerce industry. Whereby, global projections highlight that by 2025, consumption of plastic packaging for the e-commerce sector is poised to surge, accounting for up to 4.5 billion pounds. Clearly, these figures underscore the need for transformative change to both the packaging and delivery supply chains.


First, adopting environmentally friendly modes of transportation, such as electric cars, e-bikes, delivery bots, and bulk deliveries, whilst consistently deploying the same methods of transportation whenever feasible, is extremely advantageous. This approach should also extend to limiting the use of express shipping across all product categories. Second, as climate awareness becomes more prevalent among consumers, why not offer them the power to create GREAT change? Enable customers to purchase carbon offsets when shopping on your website and provide a UPS carbon-neutral shipping option to actively contribute to carbon emission offset initiatives within the delivery process. This alone can already serve as a catalyst for transitional change. However, collaborating with a specialized carbon offsetting service can streamline this process. For instance, FedEx, UPS, DPD, and USPS are all involved in programs designed to reduce harmful environmental effects and offer recyclable shipping supplies, paperless invoices, tracking options, and more. So why not collaborate to engage in GREATer transitional change?


The excessive use of non-biodegradable materials such as plastic and foam stands as a critical issue. To combat this, an effective approach would be the adoption of biodegradable materials like paper or cardboard. This not only contributes to a greener supply chain but also piques consumer interest in the products. Additionally, it is crucial to select the right packaging size, as inefficiently sized packages consume extra space which could be otherwise used for additional items delivered at the same time. Notably, ongoing projects are taking forward steps in this regard. The Eco-Box project, a partnership between Tide, an American brand of laundry detergent, and Amazon, has reimagined the classic plastic bottle for digital consumers. By eliminating the need for additional layers of cardboard boxing or bubble wrap, the version cuts down plastic consumption by 60% while shipping an identical 150-ounce bottle of Tide.

To drive sustainable practices within the e-commerce industry, it is crucial to establish robust standards that not only compel but also motivate brands and partners to prioritize sustainability. As the e-commerce industry undergoes this pivotal transition, supply chains must be organized and managed in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts and increases climate resilience. Hence, achieving a GREATer and more sustainable impact necessitates a coordinated collaboration in supply chain involving suppliers, logistics, and e-commerce retailers.

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