Request Info

Earth Day 2024 – importers, shippers and customs brokers can improve environmental sustainability

Earth Day 2024 – importers, shippers and customs brokers can improve environmental sustainability

As Earth Day 2024 approaches on April 22, the day serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and preserve the health of our planet. Individual actions like recycling and reducing energy use are important, but it's also vital to consider how businesses impact the environment through shipping and importing.

Global shipping plays a significant role in international trade and prosperity. The rise of globalization also presents environmental challenges. During Earth Day, shippers, importers, and customs brokers can take a moment to see how businesses can work together to promote improved environmental sustainability.

The environmental impact of shipping

As a cornerstone of the global economy, international shipping facilitates the movement of goods across vast distances. However, the environmental impact of shipping is substantial. Ships, planes, trains, and vehicles emit a range of different pollutants, many of which are tied to fossil fuels. The ocean shipping industry alone contributes about 3% of all greenhouse gases worldwide.

Shipping over water is much more efficient than road transportation. It’s estimated that road freight can emit up to 100 times more carbon dioxide than ocean freight when moving the same haul over the same distance. Air freight creates more emissions than all transportation modes.

Emissions aren’t the only environmental concern for the shipping and import industries. The theme of Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics”. This year, EARTHDAY.ORG will focus on a commitment to reducing the use of plastics by 60% worldwide by 2040.

Considering the popular use of plastics for packaging across many industries, importers and shippers can revisit their own use of plastics when preparing goods for transport. In some cases, businesses can even benefit from reduced costs when choosing reusable or recycled solutions when packaging goods for transport.

Earth Day and sustainable shipping transportation

Companies involved in shipping, including importers and exporters, can take some steps to reduce their environmental footprint. There’s a variety of different actions to take, ranging from investing in cleaner technologies such as renewable energy, to the optimization of shipping routes to minimize fuel consumption. The use of alternative fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or hydrogen fuel, will continue to grow as an option for different modes of transportation.

BLog (1)

The role of importers in environmental sustainability

Importers play a crucial role in driving demand. Companies that import goods can help to influence demand for environmentally sustainable practices from partners and vendors. This includes better practices for transportation, packaging, and sourcing of raw materials. Improvements don’t happen overnight, but prioritizing suppliers and carriers that embrace good environmental policies can positively influence the behaviour of shippers and partners over time.

Customs brokers can advocate for eco-friendly processes

While their primary focus is on regulatory compliance, customs clearance, and freight forwarding knowledge, customs brokers can also advocate for improved sustainability initiatives for shipping and importers across the industry. Customs brokers can drive positive change by providing guidance and advice for importers looking to implement more eco-friendly and profitable practices when shipping and importing goods.

Collaborate to create a more sustainable future

Addressing the environmental impact of international shipping and importing will require large-scale collaboration among multiple stakeholders. Importers, customs brokers, shipping companies, and policymakers can work together to implement a set of agreed-upon solutions that create better environmental sustainability for industries.

On Earth Day, we can take a moment to consider the role of shipping, importers, and customs brokers in shaping an improved environmental landscape. By embracing sustainability and working together towards a common goal, we can reduce the negative aspects of global trade to help create a healthier planet. Contact us to learn more.

Helping your company and the planet. It's what we do.

Contact us today!


Back to blog list