Sustainability has garnered a reputation as cutting edge and costly. While it is certainly possible to sink millions into eco-friendly solutions like electric vehicles, there are ways to embrace environmentalism without breaking the bank. In fact, becoming more sustainable can actually drive profits higher.
Flock Freight CEO and founder Oren Zaslansky emphasized the importance of sustainability from the very beginning. As the first certified B Corp in the freight industry, sustainability is at the core of the company.
Zaslansky made one thing clear: Doing good for the environment and doing well financially are not at odds.
“You can have your cake and eat it too,” Zaslansky said. “You can be sustainable because it is the right thing to do. At the same time, maybe we can help you reduce cost. If we can help you reduce cost, then we are going to help increase your profitability.”
The risk of not taking sustainability seriously is high and getting higher. Not only the planet but consumer trust is endangered. As the threat of climate change continues to grow, the general population is becoming more and more clued in to environmental issues. That means people are getting more and more particular about where they choose to spend their money. This trend is expected to continue to grow over the next several years. Eventually, companies that do not take sustainability seriously will lose out to their more environmentally conscious competitors.
When it comes to sustainability, Zaslansky made it clear that having more competitors is not a bad thing. The more companies that offer sustainable services, the better for everyone involved.
“Our purpose is to do our best to save the world,” Zaslansky said. “Having competitors in this area is not a bad thing.”
Shared truckload services like those Flock Freight offers are a prime example of ways to help save the planet while also saving some cash. When trucks are rolling down the highway partially full, everyone loses. By moving multiple loads with similar origin and destination points in the same trailer, wasted space, wasted miles and wasted money are eliminated.
“If trucks aren’t full, let’s get them full. That’s a win-win-win,” Zaslansky said. “The shipper wins because they only pay for the portion of the truck that they use. The carrier wins because they’re making increased revenue. The environment wins because there are fewer miles being driven.”
Flock Freight’s shared truckload model racks up impressive fuel and emissions savings because shared truckload eliminates the need for 60% of the fuel used during a traditional LTL shipment, according to the company. On average, STL drivers travel a 20% longer route from start to finish than traditional truckload drivers, negating some of the gain from saved fuel. At the end of the day, however, emissions savings average out to about 40% over the popular hub-and-spoke model.
“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line,” Zaslansky said. “No one is arguing with that; it is just hard to get it done. There is a competitive advantage available when it comes to solving hard problems.”
Ultimately, Zaslansky believes that the outlook for a greener supply chain is positive. While environmental efforts within the space were once mostly rhetoric, the ubiquitous confluence of technologies and service offerings coming together over the past several years makes real change not only possible, but profitable.