Businesses across a range of industries are now proactively shaping their corporate strategies to react to the effects of climate change on their operations. Businesses are feeling the pressure to operate in a more ethical way and this has become a hot topic within the global logistics sector, with nascent progression in what is commonly becoming known as “green logistics”.

The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) recent investment into all-electric vehicles in California is an example of this sectoral shift to make the logistics sector more environmentally-friendly. Other major carriers have also started making the move into cleaner fleets, with recent promises by Swiss and Austrian Post that they will electrify their delivery fleets by 2030, joining EV100, The Climate Group’s global initiative committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles.

This follows Royal Mail’s announcement that this year it is trialling solar powered bikes in aid of an environmentally-friendlier approach to letter and parcel deliveries. IKEA’s new home delivery service will have green logistics at its heart – pledging zero-emissions by 2025.

The logistics sector is following the wider transition in automobile industries towards cleaner energy. Volvo’s decision to stop producing vehicles solely powered by internal combustion engines from 2019, followed by the UK pledging that half of new cars and 40% of new vans sold must be ultra-low emission by 2030, illustrates the trend. 

It’s clear this environmental focus is applying pressure to major logistics businesses to invest in their capabilities. Those that do not adapt risk losing business from environmentally-conscious consumers or suffering from ever-increasing regulatory pressure.

While SMEs have more agility to respond to change with less bureaucracy, they will need to adapt their supply chain processes. This provides an opportunity for independent supply chain service providers to swoop in. Meanwhile, larger corporates are scouting the new tech-savvy disruptors entering the market to enhance their capabilities, providing growth opportunities for smaller businesses.