[The following is an excerpt from "The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Results in Every Business Function," by Daniel C. Esty and P.J. Simmons, published by Wiley. You can read an interview with Esty and Simmons here.]
How products get packaged and loaded for transport can significantly alter logistics-related costs and environmental impacts. Excessive packaging and shipping materials weigh down vehicles and force them to work harder, resulting in higher fuel costs and emissions. Likewise, ineffective load planning leads to empty vehicles that waste time and money. A truck shipping only 25 percent of its capacity burns two-and-a-half times more fuel per ton-mile as one that is 75 percent full.