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Whether we are sending one laptop to a student in India or thousands to a business in Indiana, we must ship products in a way that gets each order to its correct destination with all contents intact. You also expect that, behind the scenes, we do as much as possible to minimize the environmental footprint of each shipment. From choosing the right transportation mode to right-sizing our packaging, we continuously refine our global transportation and logistics network to achieve a smaller footprint.
Optimizing transportation networks
By working with our partners, looking at more efficient modes of transportation (shifting from air to sea, for example) and optimizing route selection, we can cut waste and reduce carbon emissions. This applies both to outbound and to moving materials around our supply chain as well.
Retail partner expansion
We’ve also found ways to complete retail orders closer to end customers and consolidate them into fewer shipments. This reduces travel distance, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. For example, we process some orders in the U.S. through distribution centers, while others are handled directly. In Europe, we expanded our fulfillment center network for retail orders on the mainland and changed the way we deliver accessories.
Both changes reduced truckload volumes and fuel consumption.
green transportation and logistics
Right-sizing and container optimization
The shape and size of packaging has a profound effect on how many units can fit on a pallet or in a container. We’ve concentrated on reducing the size of our packaging through our 3 Cs strategy, which allows us to ship more units per pallet or per container. We’ve also refined our processes for both pallet building and trailer loading to take advantage of changed dimensions and to decrease load times, helping reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
Reverse logistics (product returns)
We make every effort to decrease product returns, but it happens. If an order is cancelled or returned, we will quickly return it to usefulness by refurbishing (if necessary) and reselling approximately 90 percent of what comes back – about 800,000 units per year. These are resold via the Global Dell Outlet and whether they are Certified Refurbished, Dell Outlet New, or Scratch and Dent, they all carry the Same-as-New warranty. The remaining 10 percent that cannot be refurbished/resold are responsibly recycled.
Many of our partners voluntarily comply with the ISO 14001 standard, which helps companies improve their environmental performance. These improvements include transmitting shipping documents electronically and using recycled cardboard dunnage to protect freight.