Green Fulfilment: Eco-Friendly Shipping & Green Logistics

The advantages of going green for your business 

Thinking green for your business matters more than ever. We work primarily in a digital world but still rely heavily on a physical network of transportation, warehousing, and delivery. The switch to more sustainable solutions affects everybody worldwide, both personally and professionally. Governments and companies are already working diligently to reduce our global footprint. More green energy alternatives are coming online – and now it is time for green logistics to catch up!

Climate change is real, and it is everyone’s responsibility to make a difference. Climate change was estimated to have cost at least 210 billion in damage in the last two years worldwide. Many businesses went under, and countless people lost employment. Sustainability matters everywhere and affects every aspect of our lives.

Green logistics and sustainability are important for many reasons, not just for the planet but for your customers – and your sales. Eco-friendly, eco-conscious consumers are more prevalent than ever. Green logistics is the future of our global supply chain. You can already tell with the overwhelming success of Tesla and electric vehicles on the road today. Going green is no longer a moot subject – but a new global movement that is more important than ever.


52% of UK shoppers say they would be more loyal to a retailer who practices sustainability, while 41% would even be happy to pay more for delivery to know it was a greener option.


Today I want to discuss green logistics and how your brand will directly benefit from embracing green fulfilment strategies. The world is changing, and a green revolution is happening – so it’s time to get on the proverbial green bandwagon.


Table of contents

1) What are green logistics?

2) What is green fulfilment?

3) Advantages of green logistics & green fulfilment

4) Green fulfilment cost savings

5) Sustainable packaging

6) Crackdown on plastics for packaging

7) Align green logistics with green manufacturing – make a difference

8) Global impact of green logistics and green fulfilment


What are green logistics?

Green logistics means using sustainable practices in the logistics industry to decrease harmful impacts on the environment. Setting more responsible policies and standards for transportation services, warehousing, and shipping, global climate health will benefit as a result. There are several ways that these practices can and will be implemented for long-term environmentally friendly solutions.

Green logistics examples

Contributing to the reduction of global carbon emissions includes the use of more electric transport vehicles and biofuels. 2021 saw the biggest annual sales increase of electric vehicles in the UK, involving over 305,000 newly registered vehicles. This is a staggering growth of 74% when compared to 2020. The need to move from fossil fuels to electricity is important and might be mandatory before we know it. For example, conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans are already on track to be banned from sale in the UK in 2030.

Over the next 10 years, sustainable fuels will play a critical role in reducing climate change as well as electric transport vehicles. DHL, a courier partner of ours have started a global protection initiative known as “GoGreen,” created to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases – where their target is to be 100% emission-free by 2050.


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What is green fulfilment?

Green fulfilment means using safe and sustainable business practices regarding eCommerce fulfilment to reduce harmful impacts on the planet. From materials used for packaging to materials used to protect products, it all matters. Big goals with sustainability require big action from everybody, and 3PLs can actively encourage this daily in several ways.

Green fulfilment examples

When it comes to eCommerce fulfilment it’s important for 3PLs to use recyclable materials that are eco-friendly. Eco-friendly packaging options, or “green packaging, “use both corrugated cardboard and gummed tape, which is recycled paper with a latex solution. Plastic tape is made of polypropylene and is not recyclable. Styrofoam is commonly also used with other picking and packing companies, but it is polystyrene and not recyclable. We only use recycled paper for package fillers, and all other 3PLs should too.



Advantages of green logistics and green fulfilment

Not everyone focuses on the environment or going green with their business, which is understandable – you have a business to run. We cannot all care about everything when we have employees to look after and bills to pay. However, to put it in perspective, there are many positive benefits to pay attention to that can actually boost your business by going green.

Below you will see the commercial and profitable advantages to pay close attention to when considering a green shift.

1. Brand reputation

Making sure your brand is aligned properly with sustainable logistics providers matters. Understanding customer interaction should be a core interest and KPI for eCommerce businesses and retailers in the B2B, D2C environment. Empirical data and research in this area have confirmed it’s a large point of contention for customers today.


“50% of digital customers state that environmental concerns impact their purchasing decisions.”


Having integrity in your already eco-conscious brand also means being eco-conscious in the supply chain. Your customers will pay attention to this – and not focusing on this can alienate you from your audience. From store to door – make sure it’s all green. Go green or go home!

2. Get more sales

The question that needs to be asked is “If you’re already an eco-conscious retailer – why would you align yourself with a 3PL without eco-conscious practices?” Make sure your entire operation audits its green practices from sourcing to delivery matters – as it influences buying decisions for customers. First impressions matter – so if a parcel received by a customer is covered in multiple strips of plastic tape, this will negatively impact the impression of your “eco-friendly” brand. Partnering with an eco-conscious 3PL gives you marketing capabilities to elevate and align your brand and customer values for final-mile delivery. As a result, more brand trust and more sales from dedicated consumers.

3. Government Policies

It’s also important to remember the policy and regulatory aspects of going green. In the next decade (as more eco-friendly legislation is passed globally) this issue will become even more popular & poignant. For example, the UK government has announced plans to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035. Over the next decade, because of this goal, more pressure will increasingly be placed on companies to expand their green initiatives. Already being aligned with companies that focus on sustainability helps you keep in line with what is happening legislatively – while keeping your brand consistently accountable and planet friendly!


Green Fulfilment cost savings

Did you know you can benefit from reduced packaging costs with an eco-friendly fulfilment provider? One of the benefits of using more sustainable products for green fulfilment (besides helping save the planet!) is the cost savings passed onto you. 3PLs pass the costs of picking and packing items onto you as well as the cost of their packaging for those materials (boxes, tape, etc.). If those materials are cheaper, your cost is naturally cheaper too.


Sustainable packaging

There are many types of sustainable packaging. There is sustainable packaging for food, sustainable packaging for liquids, and sustainable packaging for materials. We use sustainable packaging boxes as well as paper and plastic-free tape.

For example, water-activated tape (or gummed tape) is much stronger and requires fewer strips of tape when compared to plastic. This is another reason why it’s becoming an industry standard – while avoiding toxic plastic tape. Analysis has shown more strips of plastic tape are needed to properly seal boxes when compared to water-activated tape. This obviously affects labour costs, and consequently, profitability. This is true for any 3PL – as time is money. This practice brings the costs down for the 3PL, hence bringing down the cost for you as well – the 3PL partner. Also, plastic is eradicated – helping the planet.

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Styrofoam vs recycled paper filler

Besides being more expensive, packaging items in boxes take a lot longer to do with styrofoam (also known as packing peanuts) than with recycled paper. Adding to the previous point of labour costs, the recycled paper takes less time to complete the task of preparing packaged items (void fill) – and your customers don’t have to break out the broom! More industries like fashion are already embracing recycled paper packaging.

Major fashion houses and iconic online fashion industry brands have shifted their focus on this issue in recent years – because they know customers are more vocal than ever about plastics in their packaging. Fashion fulfilment for eCommerce is exploding, even garnering more market share than many traditional brick and mortar stores. Recycled paper filler is already becoming more popular by major brands and will be embraced more moving forward. As the third-largest manufacturing industry in the world (garments), more pressure needs to be placed on these companies to support sustainable packaging for clothing.


So… Forget styrofoam! Embrace recycled paper fillers for your products.

*According to National Geographic, of the estimated 400 million tons of plastic produced every year, 40% or 160 million tons, is used exclusively for primary and secondary packaging applications. Styrofoam fillers are plastic-based and wind up in landfills – taking hundreds of years to decompose.


Crackdown on plastics for packaging

Did you know the UK government is already cracking down on plastics? In April, the UK enacted a Plastic Packaging Tax (“PPT”). The reasoning for this is to incentivise businesses to reduce their use of plastic materials specifically for plastic packaging! Large manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging will be on the hook for bringing too much plastic into the UK. So, as you can tell – it’s a dying industry.



Align green logistics with your green manufacturing – make a difference

Ethics check! Eco-friendly eCommerce sellers, who source products from large manufacturers with no commitment to sustainability – is it time to change?

Some countries have fewer regulations when it comes to emissions. It’s understandable you want to get the cheapest price for your products. In the long run, without more accountability, you might directly support one of the largest polluters in the world. It’s important to investigate this critical issue and understand where you want your loyalties to be aligned. More importantly, what would your customers think about this practice with your eco-friendly brand?

A recent poll confirmed that 60% of internet users are willing to pay more money for products that are eco-friendly. This number is expected to increase as millennials and Gen Z will soon be a more prominent demographic in the eCommerce retail space. Younger generations actively approach their buying decisions with a sustainable outlook – and then align themselves with those brands accordingly.

81% of people prefer to buy from sustainable companies


What’s worse than directly supporting the largest polluters? I would say getting called out for it and losing your customers. I am sure your competitors would love to take you to task for it. Personally, I would love to crush my competition by calling out their unethical or “ironic” non-eco-friendly sourcing practices. That would take care of two problems for my business!

So, for the sake of the planet as well as the sake of your bottom line, I’d say it is time to do an ethics check on the source of your manufacturing too. Embrace green manufacturing.


Global impact of Green Logistics

Obviously, the biggest advantage to green logistics and green fulfilment is a reduction of environmental strain. However, you can clearly see the other benefits of these practices for your business. Over the next decade, every industry will be developing more and more “go green” tactics – from green logistics to green manufacturing and even green warehousing. Make sure your brand is aligned on the right side of history. Your planet thanks you – and your customers will too.

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Eco Friendly Packaging & Custom Packaging

A Guide to 3pl Packaging

Product packaging is more important than most would think. It’s an intricate process of 3pl logistics that is the precursor to the few non-digital touchpoints with customers. Before making any decisions for 3pl providers, clients should deeply understand their packaging requirements and objectives.

Selazar’s innovative approach to the fulfilment process and eco-friendly packaging combined with custom packaging provide more options for clients. We live in an age where people enjoy the aesthetics of custom packaging and appreciate companies’ social responsibility. As eCommerce continues to expand, so do packaging supplies for home delivery. These supplies have a reactionary impact on the planet unless more packaging companies take the initiative to implement sustainable packaging.


Table of Contents:

  1. Customer demand for sustainable packaging increases

  2. What is eco-friendly packaging?

  3. What is corrugated cardboard?

  4. What is eco-friendly tape?

  5. What is custom packaging?

  6. How to personalise custom packaging.




A new study has confirmed that consumers in North America, Asia, Europe, and the United Kingdom want eco-friendly packaging. More than 80% of the survey participants felt that it was important or extremely important for companies to design environmentally conscious products. This survey included over 6,000 consumers in 11 different countries. Three-quarters of those participants said they are currently buying more environmentally friendly products than they were five years ago. Eighty-one percent said they expect to buy more over the next five years.


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Custom packaging is all about brand recognition. One of the main components of brand loyalty is customer association with the set of values and beliefs of a company. It’s known as “Brand feeling.” How a customer feels about a product increases their affinity towards the brand. So, if a company is Earth-conscious, this further expands those positive feelings of security, respect & social approval. Use branded packaging to expand your marketing practices.

Both eco-friendly packaging and custom packaging co-exist in harmony with one another. Selazar is proud to offer Eco-packaging as standard but understands controlling the unboxing experience through custom packaging can increase sales.



Also known as “sustainable packaging” or “green packaging,” this Earth-friendly fulfilment alternative decreases our carbon footprint. The types of eco-packaging supplies associated with green packaging are renewable materials that are safe and sustainable.

For example, the environmental effects of single-use plastics are wasteful and demand more attention from the warehousing industry and 3pl’s. Plastic packaging waste generation in the UK amounts to approximately 2.2 million metric tons.  Plastic pollution threatens our ocean life and contaminates the world’s food chain.

Eco-friendly packaging is more than a simple choice; it’s a sustainable solution for the planet. Using supplies like recycled cardboard and paper for packages and fillers is smarter as well as safer. Using recyclable materials instead of plastic and Styrofoam greatly diminishes our global greenhouse emissions.

So, as governments and countries collaborate on climate change more in 2021 and beyond, green packaging will be a part of that future. Corrugated cardboard is the cornerstone of that sustainable future.


Corrugated cardboard

The major eco-responsible shipping option is corrugated cardboard. Corrugated packaging contains recycled materials. It is both recyclable as well as compostable and does not contain any dyes or bleaches like other manufacturing processes. It is also exceptionally durable and easily reusable.

This gift packaging solution is in high demand as ethical shopping has gained more praise in recent years. It’s also great for shipping companies because recyclable packaging reduces overall costs. It’s all upside.

Selazar uses 100% corrugated cardboard for shipping all their orders.


*Disclaimer: prices have been periodically increasing due to increased demand from the eCommerce boom. Production for corrugated cardboard has ramped up and prices are projected to stabilise and hopefully reduce over the next 12 months. The confederation of paper industries (CPI) released a statement in February (2021) stating there is a shortage of cardboard due to lockdown and Brexit.


Gummed Tape

As previously mentioned, plastic usage has reached an unsustainable level. Standard plastic sticky tape is made of polypropylene, which is not recycled in the UK. What this does is create an enormous amount of plastic waste in landfills. The alternative to this is gummed tape.

It’s also known as “water-activated tape,” and it has many benefits. It is very strong with enhanced temperature tolerance while also being cheaper, and of course, is environmentally friendly. It is also a good tamper-evident solution. Once the tape is removed from the box, it cannot be reapplied.

It is 100% recycled kraft paper saturated with a latex solution and natural latex-based adhesive. The tape is biodegradable, so perfect for landfills. For many reasons, more companies like Selazar are embracing this solution for all their warehouse operations.



Custom packaging in the 3pl industry provides an “unboxing experience.” It’s an extension of branding. Branded packaging is more than pretty decorations or labelling. It creates an affinity for a customer who associates with your brand values and brand identity, also known as brand building. It is the same reason people happily wear certain brands of clothes or drink certain brands of coffee, brand loyalty. They may like the brand’s iconography, the public persona, or how it just makes them feel. Creating an “unboxing experience” for customers with these associations creates attachments to a brand while also being more memorable. Therefore, many companies are embracing it.

Using specific text phrases on a box or leaving a personalised message for the buyer creates a strong non-digital touchpoint leaving a lasting impression. When customers shop in a physical retail store, they can feel more confident about their buying purchase because of the proximity to the product. Buying online can feel a bit more impersonal and detached because of the lack of physical connection to what they are buying. By adding customisations to the parcel that the customer receives, they will instantly connect with a brand. Brands with no customisations rely on one message resonating with all customers.

How can you personalise custom packaging?

There are many customisations you can do to your green packaging. Once you finish this process, Selazar works with you to make sure every custom detail of your boxing needs are perfectly executed and shipped. Canva published an article about custom packaging, saying, “if you have a product that a lot of other companies produce as well, try to be innovative how you display it.  Some of the customisation you can do include.

1. Custom boxing

You want to use a box that reflects your brand. Use packaging that is eye-catching and memorable. Large text, stylish patterns, or a unique logo are all custom differentials. Make it interesting.

2. Add a custom message card

Leaving a personalised message on a small card goes a long way. You could say, “welcome to the family” or “we appreciate your service.” It seems a small gesture but goes a long way toward customers feeling more appreciated. You could even add a quote that resonates with your product.

3. Be Bold

Using multiple colours and shapes is an effective way to stand out from the competition. Patterns are also very eye-catching.

4. Add an extra gift

When a customer receives something for free, it inspires more excitement and loyalty. By overdelivering, you increase your brand’s commitment. It could be something as simple as a coupon, USB drive with your logo, or link to a free download.

You can use many customisations to inspire customers and improve your brand’s awareness. Customised boxes, tissue paper, and branded packaging are good solutions to stand out.


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After seeing the possibilities for flexible packaging ideas, you want to make sure to choose a fulfilment partner that can provide green fulfilment solutions. Eco-friendly packaging and customisations should be expected with your 3pl logistics company. Smart packaging and creative packaging can make or break your business. Reach out to us today if you’d like help with your fulfilment and packaging solutions.



Pick and Pack eCommerce Fulfilment: 3pl Inventory Management

Pick and pack is one of those 3pl (third party logistics) eCommerce fulfilment order phrases that many people may not be familiar with. People may think the order fulfilment process and inventory management are very simple. At its core, many may think that way; yet many pick-pack-and-ship factors distinguish good 3pl services from great 3pl services.

A pick-and-pack fulfilment warehouse does many things. Whether you are a small eCommerce brand or a large eCommerce retailer, it’s vital to understand pick and pack from A to Z. The picking and packing process not only includes custom packaging but can save your business time and money. So, let’s take a closer look at pick-and-pack eCommerce fulfilment services and 3pl logistics.

What is pick and pack fulfilment?

Picking and packing is a process of order fulfilment in which a warehouse operator has to pick an item and pack an item. Warehousing picking happens after an eCommerce store gets an order from a customer that’s shopping online. The warehouse fulfilment centre takes the online order digitally and then locates the item through its warehouse management software (WMS). The item is then electronically assigned to a worker.

Using technology, the warehouse worker will then be assigned the item or bulk items for pickup from a pick list. Companies like Selazar digitally map the warehouse, allowing for the most optimal routes to be taken, saving time and money for the business. Selazar offers no monthly contract to its partners, and they have fewer costs than the competition by charging partners for the time needed for the fulfilment process. If businesses sell out all their inventory by the end of the month and have no products left in the warehouse, Selazar believes they should not be charged for it.

Managing Inventory

Managing inventory for eCommerce fulfilment is integral to the pick-pack process. Even before an order is received within the warehouse, there is a logistical shelving and storage organisation process. There are different considerations for both size and number of products and ease of access for quicker picking and packing. The warehouse layout is set up in different sections for inputting products, holding products, and packaging products. Somebody must strategically map in such a way that is efficient and logical.

For example, if the pick and packers are taking routes that interfere with the flow of machine operators storing inventory, this will cause hiccups. If too much pallet stacking happens, making it harder to reach items, this will slow down operations. In the 3pl business, it’s all about rapid turnaround; therefore, proper inventory management is essential.


What is pick, pack and ship?

What 3pl logistics providers do is assist with the entire order fulfilment journey. Whereas a standard courier may only deal with one part of the order fulfilment journey, 3pl fulfilment centre providers like Selazar do more. We include inventory storage, inventory packing, and inventory shipping, all while having a high-tech platform for managing your orders.

UK retailers and UK eCommerce online stores can benefit from outsource fulfilment because it frees up time to focus on other priorities of the business. When you don’t have to leverage more company time on custom packaging, sending, or dealing with returns, you can focus more on the marketing and sales side for example.

Selazar and our partner network streamline the fulfilment centre process, making it fast and efficient. We can ship products from our warehouses to all areas of the UK, Europe, and abroad. Our pick-and-pack fulfilment process leverages technology so that customers can get orders within 24 – 48 hours, advocating a better online delivery experience. Selazar makes inventory management a priority.

There are various pick-pack order strategies for 3pl services, such as:

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Batch picking means picking multiple orders at a time. When many orders are initially processed, gathering all of them is more time-efficient than repeating single runs. For a worker to take a route, picking up multiple orders reduces travel time around the warehouse. Usually, if a single eCommerce store has multiple orders, it makes more sense to get bulk orders at once rather than for each sale.

Zone order picking

Warehouses are divided into multiple zones. For example, they are divided into larger and smaller items, etc. Workers will be assigned to all the SKUs (stock-keeping units) in their zone. Another reason for zones is that they can be figured into fast-moving or slow-moving areas for people and machines.

Zone picking is typically used with a high volume of SKUs. When each zone is assigned to a different worker, it allows for more familiarity with the products and efficiency. According to the VWO:


On average, 43% of profits for eCommerce stores comes from returning customers

Piece Picking

The most common method of pick and pack is piece picking. This is when a single order is picked up. Depending on the business, single orders may have very sporadic sales; therefore, it’s the only way to fulfil it. However, this can be largely inefficient, and companies with smaller amounts of sales might be better for smaller warehouses.

Wave picking

Wave picking is a packing warehouse that combines both batch and zone picking. It is a frequently used process that includes piece picking, but in scheduled waves of time. The orders can be predicted and more productive by scheduling these time frames.

Why is the picking and packing 3pl fulfilment process important?

Picking and packing is such an essential process because it’s key to keeping your customer base happy and, therefore, loyal to you. When your 3pl is quicker and more streamlined, the customers receive their parcels faster. Dispatch speed is your completive advantage. This goal happens through smarter operations and accuracy. Selazar currently has a 99.9% pick and pack accuracy rate, even receiving an award nomination for exceptional warehouse management. This system of managing inventory was nominated by the logistics awards 2021.

Pick and pack accuracy can make or break your business. E-commerce customers now expect to receive their products more quicker. Therefore, having a tech-first approach towards fulfilment with a digitally mapped warehouse is where your products need to be stored.



What is the difference between packing and the unboxing experience?

When eCommerce businesses partner with Selazar, they have two options for the end process of picking and packing. The first is standard packing.

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Standard order packing for eCommerce order fulfilment means that the product is prepared to be shipped. The product is put into a container box, taped, and prepared safely for transit. Nothing extra is done to the product. No inserts or custom labelling.

Selazar standard packing offers space-saving algorithms that optimise the picking and packing experience. Our algorithms determine the size and shape of products being combined into a single container. During onboarding, we undertake enabling work called Product Absorption. We get to know your products and everything about them. We’re able to automatically know the minimum amount of space needed and assign the most appropriately sized box with minimal padding for safe shipping.

Unboxing Experience (custom)

Custom order packaging for eCommerce order fulfilment means your product is specially prepared for storage and custom branding. Many brands have specific requests for custom covers for their products, stickers, packing inserts, etc. It’s a desirable option for customers who have an affinity for appearance and aesthetics. People identify closely with brands, so this is very important to some companies.

Both standard and custom options are available to Selazar partners when managing inventory. We even use eco-friendly boxes and tape without using any plastic.

Using innovative logistics and custom packaging and moving your operations to a third-party provider like Selazar has a plethora of experience boosting benefits.




What is green fulfilment?

In the modern world, customers and businesses are aware of the ever-growing importance of environmentally friendly products. Not only do customers endorse it, but they prefer companies that use green fulfilment methods. According to a European consumer packaging survey, 90% of UK shoppers want recyclable packaging.

Green fulfilment focuses on eco-friendly solutions for packaging to reduce the planet’s carbon footprint. Examples of green fulfilment include recycled plastics, corrugated cardboard, and eco-friendly paper.

Pick and pack eCommerce fulfilment is an essential part of 3pl inventory management. Your eCommerce businesses must consider all aspects of pick and packing, custom packaging, green fulfilment, and more. Let us know how we can further serve you today. Contact us here.