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Eco-friendly shipping tips for businesses in Vietnam

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The rise in sustainable consumption has significantly reshaped Vietnam’s business landscape, compelling companies to adapt their strategies and operations to meet evolving consumer demands. This trend is evidenced by Rakuten Insight’s survey on sustainable consumption in 2023, which found that 61% of Vietnamese consumers are shifting towards more environmentally friendly shopping behaviours. 

This shift in sustainability aligns with KPMG Vietnam’s 2022 Customer Experience Excellence (CEE) report, showing that 93% of consumers are more inclined to pay more for products from businesses committed to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards. Such trends highlight the importance of adopting sustainability in business practices, such as implementing eco-friendly shipping solutions like those offered by DHL Express Vietnam. 

Eco-friendly shipping involves using sustainable methods and materials throughout logistics to minimise environmental impact. This approach encompasses everything from biodegradable packaging and reduced emissions in transportation to efficient route planning and renewable energy sources in logistics operations.

Adopting environmentally friendly shipping solutions enables businesses to contribute to the preservation of the environment and align with global sustainability standards, which are increasingly becoming a benchmark not just for customers, but also international trade and business operations. In fact, 36% of companies surveyed by Forrester Research plan to cut ties with partners unable to meet shared sustainability goals.

Following these insights, we’ve provided a list of eco-friendly shipping tips to help businesses in Vietnam adapt to these sustainability shifts and meet the evolving expectations of today’s commercial market.

How to make your shipping methods more eco-friendly

In today's environmentally conscious landscape, adopting sustainable logistics for your business operations is not just advantageous—it's essential. Below, we outline strategies to align your shipping methods with the increasing demand for eco-friendly solutions.

1. Use sustainable packaging

Adopting sustainable packaging can significantly reduce environmental impact and align your businesses with eco-conscious needs. 

Explore these five innovative and environmentally friendly packaging solutions to enhance your business’s sustainability efforts. 

  • Custom biodegradable/compostable containers and bags: These eco-shipping materials are designed to break down naturally, leaving no harmful residues behind. Compostable containers are suitable for packaging food items like prepared meals and baked goods. Compostable bags, on the other hand, are ideal for packaging loose bulk supplies such as coffee beans, loose tea leaves, spices, and grains. They can also be used in retail for small fashion items like accessories, jewellery, and other lightweight goods.
  • Recycled paper box packaging: Opting for recycled packaging boxes or corrugated cardboard boxes combines durability with environmental responsibility. These eco-friendly packaging boxes can package electronics, beauty products, and small home appliances. They are designed to offer reliable protection of goods for local or overseas shipping.
  • Spare paper: Utilise shredded spare paper for wrapping or cushioning, offering a recyclable alternative to plastic bubble wrap. Best for items that are not overly fragile but still require protection during shipping, such as hardcover books, craft supplies, and non-fragile clothing items (e.g. cotton shirts and denim jeans) packaged in recyclable boxes.
  • Cornstarch packaging: Derived from corn grain, cornstarch packaging is a biodegradable material that can substitute conventional plastics. This innovative material is used for packing lightweight, non-fragile items, such as clothing and cosmetics. Its versatility also extends to the food industry, which can be used for items like confectionery, dry snacks, or takeaway food.
  • Mushroom packaging: This ecological packaging, made from mycelium – the root structure of mushrooms – and combined with agricultural waste, is an effective cushioning material. It is ideal for electronic devices, delicate glassware, and ceramics. Its natural composition allows it to be moulded into various shapes and sizes, making it a versatile option for securing items in place.

Embracing these sustainable packaging options for shipping not only reduces your carbon footprint but also communicates your brand's commitment to sustainability, positively impacting consumer perception. This strategy is critical in drawing new customers who prioritise eco-friendly practices and, in turn, nurtures loyalty among your clientele by resonating with their environmental values.

2. Offer sustainable options for return logistics

The journey of a product doesn't necessarily end upon its initial delivery, particularly in the e-commerce sector, where an average return rate of 30% is observed. Such high rates necessitate additional packaging and logistics efforts to facilitate item returns, which may contribute to a larger environmental footprint.

Considering this statistic emphasises the importance of implementing eco-friendly packaging for shipping into business practices. Businesses can opt for the previously mentioned reusable packaging options to achieve sustainable return logistics effectively, providing customers with an environmentally responsible way to return products. 

For instance, recyclable corrugated cardboard boxes are ideal exterior packaging due to their robustness and ability to withstand multiple uses. For enhanced protection, businesses can turn to mushroom packaging. Its adaptability to encase products snugly means returning items is as simple as fitting them into their original, custom-shaped packaging.

Additionally, incentivising customers to participate in this sustainable return process is also an excellent strategy. Businesses might consider offering discounts on future purchases, loyalty points, or other rewards for customers who return items using the original packaging. This method motivates customers to engage in eco-shipping practices and fosters a positive brand image and customer loyalty.

By adopting these practices, businesses can reduce environmental impact while also easing the repackaging process for consumers, positioning themselves as responsible and customer-centric brands. 

Businesses aiming for sustainable return logistics can partner with DHL Express Vietnam, which provides sustainable shipping and packaging solutions. This collaboration facilitates navigating green logistics, from packaging to return shipping.

3. Minimise waste and maximise your existing packing capacity

Eco-friendly shipping is not just about selecting sustainable materials – it's about ensuring each item is snugly fitted and securely protected within its parcel. This meticulous approach to eco-friendly packaging serves a dual purpose: safeguarding the item during transit and significantly reducing unused space to minimise waste. 

Choosing a suitable package size is vital, as it eliminates the need for excessive materials and additional outer boxing. To further diminish a package's environmental impact, businesses can utilise eco-friendly alternatives to conventional fillers, such as shredded recycled paper or even paper bubble wraps.

Additionally, they may implement a set of custom biodegradable packaging sizes based on the product's dimensions. Such standardisation streamlines the packing process, allows for the optimal use of space, and minimises the need for extra filling materials.

Adopting this approach enhances product protection and reinforces a company's dedication to sustainable delivery and packaging practices, striking a balance between product safety and ecological mindfulness.

4. Strategise inventory distribution and order consolidation for sustainable logistics

The global e-commerce market is on an impressive growth trajectory, expected to expand from US$14.14 trillion in 2022 to an estimated US$57.22 trillion by 2032, according to a report by Precedence Research. This forecast suggests a significant rise in online shoppers, highlighting the need to adapt to the increasing number of consumers and their evolving needs. 

Among these evolving expectations, a recent survey pinpointed faster delivery as the improvement shoppers desire, emphasising businesses’ need to refine their logistics strategies to stay competitive.

In response to these trends, a strategic approach involves distributing inventory across multiple regions. This begins with an analysis of consumer demand patterns to identify key markets of the businesses. Once these areas are pinpointed, companies can establish local distribution centres or partner with third-party logistics providers in these regions. 

By situating stock closer to the highest demand, companies can meet the need for speed while reducing the carbon footprint of their shipping activities from long-haul transportation. 

This strategy benefits from Vietnam's strategic participation in numerous free trade agreements (FTAs), including bilateral agreements with major economies, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Cuba, Chile, and Israel. Furthermore, it is part of multilateral agreements with groups including ASEAN countries, the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and China. 

These FTAs facilitate smoother exports and trade by reducing tariffs and customs duties, making it easier for Vietnamese businesses to access these markets, streamline shipping, and expand their logistical operations.

Additionally, consolidating orders, when possible, also plays a crucial role. By merging multiple items into fewer shipments, businesses can reduce shipping costs and packaging waste. For example, companies can opt for eco-friendly, adjustable dividers, such as recycled cardboard, that compartmentalise the packaging. This practice allows multiple items to be shipped within the same box without unnecessary movement or waste.

5. Commit to offsetting or reducing carbon emissions incurred during shipping

In an era where environmental consciousness is paramount, businesses are increasingly held accountable for their carbon footprint, making it essential to adopt eco-friendly delivery and packaging strategies that mitigate environmental impact. DHL Express Vietnam’s GoGreen Plus services emerge as a pivotal solution for businesses aiming to reduce carbon emissions and bolster their sustainability credentials. 

Here are several ways DHL Express Vietnam’s GoGreen initiatives aid businesses in achieving these goals:

  • Carbon report: Offers businesses a comprehensive analysis of their transport and logistics activities' environmental footprint. This service enables companies to understand the extent of their emissions and identify improvement areas.
  • Carbon dashboard: A web-based tool that offers graphical modelling of supply chains, highlighting carbon and cost optimisation opportunities. This innovative platform allows businesses to visualise their operations and pinpoint effective strategies for reducing emissions.
  • Quick scan: Provides a concise overview of a company's carbon efficiency across air, ocean, and road transport, benchmarked against industry standards. This service identifies both carbon and cost efficiency improvement opportunities, helping businesses to make informed decisions about their logistics practices.
  • Logistics consulting: Partners businesses with DHL Express Vietnam’s logistics experts to overhaul and improve supply chain operations. This collaboration allows companies to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience, leading to enhanced efficiency, lower operational costs, reduced environmental impact, and improved financial outcomes.

These highlighted services are just a glimpse into the comprehensive solutions offered. By committing to offsetting or reducing carbon emissions with our initiatives, businesses adhere to growing environmental standards and take a significant step forward in their sustainability journey.

Embrace eco-friendly shipping with DHL Express Vietnam

In today's market, sustainability is not just about environmental stewardship – it's a strategic business advantage. As global awareness and regulations around eco-friendliness grow, adopting sustainable practices becomes essential for businesses to stay competitive. 

DHL Express Vietnam is at the forefront of sustainable logistics, aiming for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Our commitment is demonstrated through adopting alternative fuels, electric vehicles, and AI-powered packaging solutions like “OptiCarton” to optimise the filling volume of boxes, making shipments more eco-friendly and cost-effective. 

A key initiative by DHL Express is GoGreen Plus, offering a significant CO2 reduction through Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which cuts emissions by up to 80%. Customers can opt for 10%-70% CO2 insetting for air shipments, with customisation available for greater reduction. This approach not only advances DHL’s green objectives but also empowers customers to contribute to environmental goals.

Here’s how you can join us in our commitment to a greener future:

  • Register for a DHL Express Vietnam business account: Open a business account with DHL Express Vietnam to tap into a global network spanning 220 countries and over 120,000 locations. This access facilitates smooth shipping operations and strategic inventory distribution, allowing for efficient stocking in key markets worldwide.
  • Choose flexible and sustainable delivery services: We provide various choices, including same-day delivery, urgent, and time-sensitive for fast shipping needs to less urgent options. Additionally, businesses can opt for greener shipping with GoGreen Plus, reducing your shipment's carbon emissions by 30%.
  • Utilise eco-friendly packaging: Choose from our range of sustainable packaging solutions. These options are designed to minimise environmental impact without compromising on protection.
  • Track and offset your carbon footprint: Engage with our GoGreen solutions to track and offset the carbon footprint of your shipments. By choosing this option, you contribute to environmental protection projects, making your shipping process efficient and responsible towards the planet.

Choosing DHL Express Vietnam for your logistics needs means accessing industry-leading sustainable logistics solutions that will environmentally boost your business operations and brand reputation.

Start your journey towards eco-friendly shipping and make a positive impact on the planet with us today.