The latest challenges in improving storage and distribution
The newest challenges which the European logistics companies are facing in regard to improving warehouse and storage logistics are intertwined with the growing environmental awareness.
The global striving towards lowering carbon emissions, along with saving resources and efficient energy use has an impact both on the shipping itself, as well as the storage and distribution processes. The new challenges are leading factors for the storage and distribution activities for all freight forwarding companies, which are members of the European transportation network – the International Forwarding Association (IFA).
The new challenges include the optimization and automation of the storage and distribution processes, as well as applying other environmentally friendly approaches, which leads to their improvement and to better compliance to the global environmental trends and tendencies.
Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification is a green building certification program for the design, building and maintenance of buildings. These green buildings help save and use resources and finances efficiently.
LEED Certification can be acquired for existing building as well. Most of the newly certified storage warehouses are of the 3PL (Third Part Logistics) type and are located in warmer climates where the investments in energy efficiency have the biggest return.
Modern requirements for storage warehouses and distribution
The contemporary requirements for the improvement of storage and distribution include:
- Requirements for the construction of the warehouses as well the surrounding infrastructure
- Requirements for energy use
- Requirements for the equipment and technology used
- Requirements for the work conditions for the employees in storage and distribution
- Requirements for packing
- Requirements for the cargo loading optimization of the transportation used for distribution
Requirements for the construction of the warehouses and the surrounding infrastructure
- The location of the warehouse must be in close proximity to public transportation routes. Also, it must not imperil any endangered animals
- The construction work must not affect the condition of the flora in the area
- The irrigation of the landscape surrounding the warehouses must be minimized, and the water used in the building must be used efficiently
- The isolation of the storage buildings should improve energy efficiency. Better isolated warehouses use up less energy for heating
- The materials used for the construction of the warehouses must be renewable.
Requirements for energy use
- The energy used in the warehouse must be minimal, and if possible green energy should be used
- The lightbulbs used in the warehouse should be energy saving.
Requirements for the equipment used
- The equipment used for storage and distribution must be energy efficient
- Process automation for the storage and distribution must be utilized for the improvement of their performance and efficiency. Automated process use up less energy, lowers the risks of errors and reduces the number of employees necessary to perform these tasks.
Requirements for the work conditions for the employees in the warehouses as well as those in the distribution sector
The work conditions in the warehouses must offer comfort for the employees.
Requirements for the packing
The packing materials used for storage and distribution must be made from recyclable materials, when possible, and mainly from recycled cardboard.
Requirements for the cargo loading optimization of the transportation used for distribution
During the loading of the cargo to be distributed, the loading area must be used to the maximum possible. This decreases the need of the use of more means of transportation, and also helps lower carbon emissions.