Sustainability has become an integral part of society; we have plenty of innovative solutions in place to reduce our carbon footprint and the impact that we have on the planet. Yet, as of now, it is not something that is at the forefront of the moving industry. Moving internationally involves long periods of transportation, by road, air, or sea. Hence, the moving industry plays a part in the pollution of our planet.
At an international level, there are no strict regulations against greenhouse gas emissions for the transport sector. Nevertheless, most countries who signed the Paris Agreement agreed to reduce their CO2 emission by 2030. As a result, some territories are implementing rules and policies on this matter.
For you, as a moving company, finding the balance between economic growth and emissions reduction becomes an ever-increasing dilemma, since adjustments are now required. These are some examples you are likely to have encountered:
International shipments: New rules imply higher costs, and more time is consumed when going from A to B. Indeed, carbon-efficient shipping routes are slower because it means avoiding strategically polluted seas such as the South China Sea; or specific ports like Rotterdam.
Moves in Europe: trucks cannot enter certain major cities. It costs time, money, and effort to transfer loads to smaller trucks, get the right certificates, or upgrade your fleet of trucks.
Managing customer expectations: Adjusting expectations based on the time taken, and the price of the more. Which can make it more difficult to remain compeitive.
While there is advice is provided by governments worldwide, there are no mandatory rules, and very few companies have changed their processes. However, this advice is slowly turning into standard regulation in many countries. Therefore, without anticipation, you may experience struggles, as costs and penalty charges are on the way. Change involves the whole process; it is important to think ahead and start little by little. Otherwise, you will be forced to make all the changes at once, which may brutally hurt your profit margin when new rules will be added.
Planning for the future is the key to success. Making strategic partnerships with reliable, eco-oriented companies might be the best practice to share costs and adapt your work processes smartly. These are some easy steps you can start applying today:
How can you complete a 100% paperless move, and reduce your impact on the environment? It seems difficult to comprehend, as there is a large amount of paperwork that needs to be completed for each move, boxes for packing and wrapping paper. But there are plenty of platforms and easy solutions to reduce our impact on the planet within the moving industry.
The first step to a 100% paperless move is to integrate an online document completion/signing platform. Uploading all the templates for the necessary documents onto a platform makes it very easy to share them through a simple link. This eliminates the need to print, sign, and scan documents. This is the first step to reducing administrative waste. There are plenty of options available: we have personally been using Pandadoc for the past year.
Make sure to reuse moving boxes! A cardboard moving box can typically be used between 3 and 10 times before it loses its structural rigidity. Additionally, make sure to recycle old moving boxes!
Artificial intelligence has exponentially expanded in the last couple of decades. What was once a topic of science fiction, is now a reality seen everywhere: facial recognition software, self-driving cars, and online chess games. And now, it is the turn of the moving industry.
How does it work? The AI can “watch” a video of the customer’s home. Its software allows it to identify objects in a house. It can count how many items there are and provide weight and height measurements with a high degree of accuracy. With this information, the algorithms predict how many boxes will be required for the entire move. This is especially valuable during the COVID crisis, as in-person surveys become more difficult and riskier for all parties. Currently, the main provider of AI-based surveys is Yembo.
AI is not here to replace humans. Household moves are so specific to the customer and their household, that they still require your expertise and human touch to complete a successful, painless move.
There are different technologies created to facilitate cooperation and increase mover efficiency. One of the most interesting options when it comes to reducing carbon footprint is the Load Exchange, an online platform made for the moving industry, with the sole purpose of connecting movers in our network and enabling them to trade their truck and load capacity. You can post your loads and bid on loads of others depending on what you need.
This means that your company can help other movers in destination countries if they have a service going back to your country of origin. Instead of two trucks going back and forth (usually empty on their way back), one single truck can do the route and both companies get their profits while reducing pollution
Sharing loads is not only about reducing your impact on the environment, but also helps you save money!
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