With the serious impacts on the environment, logistical procedures are shifting to cleaner fuels other than gasoline and diesel. There is a growing need for cargo shippers to change their logistical activities to the use of electric trucks and rails. The impacts of using gasoline and diesel are far reaching. Whereas the cost of diesel is cheaper than gasoline, the environmental impacts caused by diesel are worse than those of gasoline. Therefore, a cheaper option could be more costly at the end. Not many people in the society are ready to incur these costs and there is an increasing pressure on governments and other co-operations to embrace greater considerations to the environment in the activities. While there is an evident tendency for governments through their policy guidelines to urge the users to pay the entire costs of using the built infrastructure, activities of logistics have widely escaped such initiatives. Green logistics is considered as a logistical approach that would create a balanced strategy in the shipment of goods from one point to another. Issues of climate change will be largely reduced through green logistics. Most importantly, there are anticipated cost reduction measures that will be achieved through green logistics both in the short and long terms.
Logistics is the activities’ management that is integrated for the purposes of moving products all through the chain of supply. For an archetypal product, this chain of supply covers the process from the source of the raw materials, during production and dispatch of goods to retail centers and relevant reverse logistics. The activities of logistics entail freight carriage, storage, management of inventory, handling of materials, and all the associated processing of information (Stank, Davis, & Fugate, 2005). It is therefore evident that logistical procedures are a vital function of contemporary systems. Modern spatial and technological developments have enhanced efficiency, cost, and reliability of passenger and freight transport systems. However, the negative environmental effects of transportation have attracted a lot of recognition and are at the center of matters of sustainability, particularly in the urban regions.
For the reason that logistics applications are normally positive for the transport systems’ efficiency, suggestion has been made to make logistics friendly to the environment (Ballou, 2007). This has been proposed and defined in what is commonly known as “green logistics”. While logistics could be connected to the less environmentally harmful systems of transport, they have produced a number of paradoxes that could be a proof of the opposite of the belief held.
The focus of green logistics is basically on the emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG). For instance, logistics and carriers companies that are socially responsible will endeavor to minimize such emissions. There has been an anticipated move to help assess, manage, and cut down the emission of GHG from the industry of transportation. The move has been for the reason of supporting organizations and companies in their approach to reducing and deterring GHG emissions. Green logistics has been expected to depict benefits as shown in figure 1 below.
Green logistics is a positive development that seeks to enhance the functions and roles of conventional logistical activities. The main logistics objective is to coordinate all the interconnected activities in a manner that meets the requirements of the customer at a reasonable price. The cost implications in logistics have in the past been defined though fiscal terms. With an increasing concern for the environment, companies and organizations should be wary of the logistical external costs linked to change in climate, noise and air pollution, accidents, and vibration. Companies should therefore switch to the use of Green Logistics to ship cargo to distributors. The replacement of gasoline and diesel fuel with hybrid and electric trucks and trains in shipping will go a long way to save a lot of money and also promote the welfare of the society and the environment in which we live (Cheng, Yeh, & Tu, 2008). Companies should therefore take a corporate social role, which will not only be of use to the company, but to the universe as well.
Effects of gasoline and diesel fuels have had significant negative environmental and economic impact. The emissions into the air have been responsible for global warming, acid rain, and the availability of chlorofluorocarbons. With such consequences, the shipping industry is considered as one of the main contributors to the degradation in the environment. This has been particularly through its infrastructures, modes, and traffics. The developing area of logistics has been perceived as a chance for the industry of transportation to produce face that is friendlier to the environment.
The significance of a healthy and safe environment cannot be over-emphasized. Putting logistics into the disposal and recycling of waste matter of all types, including hazardous and toxic products, has become a big development in the market. This was one of the major developments towards the attainment of functions supporting green logistics (Oloruntuba & Gray, 2006). However, the fuels used in logistics for transportation have continued to produce detrimental effects to the environment.
The analysis of the elementary logistical systems’ characteristics has shown various inconsistencies with their compatibility with the environment. Logistics is founded on the idea of reducing costs, especially during transportation. Additionally, time economics and development in the reliability of service and the flexibility that is needed are very vital objectives. Companies that take part in the physical dispatch of freight are very supportive of approaches that make it possible for them to reduce costs of transportation in the current competitive market. However, the cost-saving approaches sought after by logistics operators are usually at variance with considerations of the environment.
Environmental costs are normally externalized. This implies that the logistical benefits are achieved by the users and consequently by the clients if the gains are distributed along the chain of supply. However, the environment makes assumptions of huge variety of costs and burdens. Not many people in the society are ready to incur these costs and there is increasing pressure on governments and other co-operations to embrace greater considerations to the environment in the activities (Prater, 2005). While there is an evident tendency for governments through their policy guidelines to urge the users to pay the entire costs of using the built infrastructure, activities of logistics have widely escaped such initiatives. The emphasis of extensive policy concerning the environment has been on private cars gas mixtures, emission controls, and pricing.
There are increasing strict regulations applied to air transport in terms of emissions and noise. However, the level of control over rail, trucking, and maritime modes is considerably low. For instance, diesel fuel is largely cheaper compared to gasoline in various jurisdictions, despite the adverse implications to the environment from diesel fuel. At the same time, trucks contribute a lot more of nitrogen oxide emissions and particulate matter when compared to cars. The benefits of cost implications have overridden other environmental interests that need redress.
Electric and other hybrid trucks and trains have been a suitable proposed replacement for cargo shipping. Evidently, a gradual move towards the wide use of cleaner fuels and trucks powered by natural gas have a promise of low costs of operations, low emissions of greenhouse gas, and a lot more self-sufficiency in energy. There has been a challenge in making this transition. However, it is undoubtedly a prudent procedure. The manner in which the logistics industry has reacted towards environmental imperatives is much expected. This is mainly because of the economic and commercial imperatives. Gasoline and diesel fuels have had severe effects of congestion, pollution, and depletion of resources (Murphy & Wood, 2004). While these proposals have been made, their full implementation is still in wait. Logistics industry has not yet become green as anticipated over the years.
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There is quite a number of issues concerning logistics operations, particularly affecting the environment. The use of gasoline and diesel fuels in the industry has led to hazardous disposal of waste and disposal of solid waste as well. These two effects to the environment have been identified as of maximum priority if green logistics is to be fully realized (Ballou, 2007; Murphy & Wood, 2004). Logistics processes like inventory control, consumer service, scheduling of production have had insignificant implications on the environment compared to transportation and shipping of goods.
A healthy and safe environment is vital for efficient logistical procedures. Through its ability to promote economic growth and open markets, it is important to make sure logistics are made effective by supporting the welfare of the environment. Efficiency in logistics can be fully realized when the operations and activities do not interfere with or have less effect on the surrounding in which they are carried out. With the growing trade globalization, the logistical concept has been internationalized. Global logistics and globalization have severally affected the environment through encouraging firms and governments to compete on the global market by means of lowering the standards of environmental management in particular countries while sustaining higher standards in developed countries (Rao & Holt, 2005). Consequently, there has been an increasing support for initiatives of the environment carried out at the global level and an increasing dependence on local communities to deal with the environmental issues as the underlying environmental matters are different amongst countries.
It is no doubt that the effective green logistics implementation should emanate from multifaceted interplay of both local and global environmental governance to augment the efforts of the state. Actually, most vital recommendations on the environmental policy, their implementation, and green logistics operations, which would be effective, take place at the local level (Green Logistics, 2010). It is obvious that international trade is not really harmful to the surrounding of the local or regional trade. However, proper evaluation of green logistics should be integrated. In most cases, the future of freight transport and world trade relies on the multimodal sharing of infrastructure and the rising consumption of energy. Therefore, it is important to enhance a regional strategy to green logistics. Such an idea is however not for small and more regular shipments, which may lead to more trips by smaller vehicles. The measures taken in this approach are to reduce the many trips that are already in existence.
Green logistics have an objective of reducing movements through the application of policies related to the use of land (Ritter, Wilkinson, & Johnston, 2004). This is in the interest of reducing geographical and level separation of company activities. The extent to which regions lead to logistics is still obscure. However, the role is normally important to facilitate effective and decisive action to guard the environment. There is again a conflict arising between the logistics economic significance and the environmental impact affected by politics. All the same, green logistics can be effectively implemented in areas where there are robust institutional factors with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcing the sustainability of the environment. It is thus a prudent effort to ensure that governments intervene to enhance a greater regulation of the environment.
In modern environments of doing business, the habit of reacting to “green” matters in a way that is socially responsible has become an important aspect in doing business. Customers and clients are more interested in business operations that are taking part in a corporate social role. The importance of establishing green logistics cannot be over-emphasized. From a logistics perception, one of the contemporary strategies pertinent to the improvement of the environment is the acquisition of a green chain of supply and shunning of gasoline and diesel fuels (Weber, 2002). These two opposing forces have presented a challenging scenario basically because of environmental and cost implications.
It is very imperative to consider and assure that companies move towards being green in their logistical procedures. Companies should holistically comprehend the matters concerning green logistics in their operations and particularly while making decisions. Therefore, there are various important environmental activities, which significantly impact attitudes towards the matters surrounding green logistics. It is important to realize that the green supply chain strategy offers support for the interests of stockholders in having better satisfaction of employees, enhancing sustainability of the environment, and promoting the community life quality. All these aspects are interrelated and will go a long way in ensuring an all-round beneficial engagement in managing operations.
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The green chain of supply has both direct and indirect benefits. It promotes the ‘intangible value supporters’ that affect clients, the reputation of the company, alliances, continuity, and technology (Sathaye, Horvath, & Madanat, 2010). These affect the tangible results of asset utilization, profitability, and service level. The supply chain value is the sum of the intangible and tangible outcomes. Regulations by governments were the norms in the past and companies had to wait for them. However, things have changed in recent times. Companies can take initiatives by themselves. This has been facilitated through issues of energy costs, global warming, and carbon footprint effects. Investors and consumers are becoming more aware of these challenges and are looking for programs of green logistics. This can be a very competitive position for a company that can differentiate it from the rest. Being environmentally efficient is always a good practice.
The use of gasoline and diesel fuels has posed a lot of challenges in ensuring sustainable logistics and a strategy of mobility to ascertain huge cost cuts. Other than the issues of being eco-efficient, supply and logistics chain has conventionally been challenging for companies in getting the exact cost of the energy used. Collusion in the gasoline and diesel energy sector has caused detrimental effects to the companies. Electric trucks and rail are believed to solve this problem and cut costs considerably. Achieving objectives of the environment can bring along with them the realization of other financial and strategic goals (Ritter, Wilkinson, & Johnston, 2004). Green logistics usually cuts down on the cost of logistics as it lays focus on the reduction of energy use and enhanced total chain of supply.
Shifting to electric trucking and rail will be a major boost in reducing financial losses linked with diesel trucks. The expenditure on the energy used in the logistic processes and procedures can be well accounted for. Therefore, cargo shippers, retailers, and transport companies at large will make huge steps in realizing a reduced cost implication with the adoption of green logistics. With the formation of a well-informed logistical process, the future requirements of the companies concerned will be met. The involvement of companies, governments, authorities, and international bodies to establish a policy of green logistics will ensure a shared vision and costs for a sustainable chain of supply and realize a chain of supply that is eco-efficient and cost effective in terms of the energy use.
There is also the aspect of indirect costs that companies will save as we progress into the future. Authorities and companies will be adversely affected in the future if chains of supply continue using gasoline and diesel fuels in logistics. This is especially because of the reason that these fuels contribute to climate change through their emissions (Rodrigue, Slack, & Comtois, 2013). The use of electric trucking and rail is believed to help companies adapt to chains of supply to alleviate the perceived risks and costs implications that will come with the continued use of gasoline and diesel in the future. With green logistics, there is a lot of transparency in business procedures. Shippers can benefit from the good account of the process in terms of monetary use. Green logistics has made it possible to investigate, evaluate, and balance the use of energy to make sure there is no wastage through untrustworthy logistics agents. There is the advantage of many parties involved and, therefore, green logistics is a smoother process compared to the conventional one.
The benefits of using clean electric trucking and rail systems in logistics are quite many both in the short and long term. Gasoline and diesel fuels have had catastrophic impacts on the environment, leading to global warming and climate change. The weight of these impacts lies on the logistic companies. Any measures taken to alleviate this scenario go a long way to save the companies a lot of money. Therefore, companies should shift from the use of gasoline and diesel to electric trucks and rail in their logistical processes and procedures.