Couriers provide a useful service for businesses and individuals by picking up and safely transporting documents, merchandise, and other shipments from one location to another faster than traditional mail or transportation services. In urban areas, many courier services are already relatively eco-friendly due to their reliance on bikes for transport, which are not only eco-friendly but frequently faster than cars in congested downtown areas. In many cases, though, larger deliveries are still transported by conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Due to the large amounts of driving required by courier services, a single courier driving a standard gasoline vehicle releases an average of 33 tons of carbon emissions each year.
Starting a green courier service is a good way to provide a useful service for clients while reducing transport-related carbon emissions.
Eco-Friendly Tips for Courier Services
- Many courier services already rely heavily on bicycles, making them among the greenest businesses around. You can make your bicycle-based courier service even greener by supporting a locally owned, eco-friendly bicycle repair shop.
- Another eco-friendly bicycle option is electric bicycles or scooters powered by clean energy. Typical electric scooters and bicycles can travel 30-50 miles on a single charge, and they can be charged in as little as an hour.
- For large and long distance deliveries, purchase fuel efficient cars and trucks such as hybrid vehicles, which produce only half the carbon emissions of a standard gasoline vehicle. Keeping vehicles well maintained is another way to substantially reduce carbon emissions, as is using fuel efficient driving techniques such as slower acceleration and avoiding idling.
- Another alternative is to purchase biodiesel powered vehicles. Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative to petroleum fuel that can be used in any diesel engine. It is often made from used cooking oil, a clever way of recycling a troublesome waste product.
These tips will help you develop a truly green courier service that benefits both clients and the environment.
Three Courier Services Taking Green Transport To the Streets
Atlanta-based Green Express is believed to be the first courier service in America to switch to a fully hybrid or people-powered fleet. Green Express also reduces the environmental impact of its business by taking steps such as e-billing, using recycled paper and CDC lighting in its office, and more.
Go Green Couriers is a Dallas-based courier service committed to sustainable business practices. Go Green Couriers uses only bicycles in the city’s central Business District, and fuel-efficient hybrids elsewhere. The company also uses a paperless billing system and a software program that allows them to accept orders and manage deliveries remotely, avoiding the need for a central office and reducing the company’s footprint even further.
Evergreen Courier, based in Scarborough, ME, uses hybrid vehicles and drivers trained in fuel efficient driving techniques to provide a full range of courier services for businesses. In addition to a fuel efficient fleet, Evergreen Courier also takes steps to reduce environmental impact at the office, including powering their office with wind energy, using paperless billing, and developing a company recycling program.
Main Image Credit: Jesse Millan