Many companies will discount freight services on slower, ground shipments to save customers money and protect the environment.
Whether companies discount freight services or charge their regular fees, shipping by seas can pose a threat to the world’s oceans and waterways. Shipping contracts for packages to and from the USA are projected to double by 2020. Increased traffic in ocean ports has polluted many coastal areas. This pollution affects biodiversity, climate, food, and human health.
But even if shipping contracts discount freight services for sea transport, there are other environmental penalties to pay. The tankers take on ballast water in one coastal area and discharge it in another port of call. Ballast water discharge often contains plants, animals, viruses, and bacteria, which can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems.
Ground shipping contracts are better for the environment. Ground shipping saves fuel, and the packaging is often less extensive, more eco-friendly and reusable. Express shipping services consume more fuel and produce more emissions, whether you ship by truck, car, plane or train.
Some companies will not discount freight services for next-day delivery, since the packages must be heavily padded in a special box or envelope. The packaging is usually not reusable, since the seals used are usually destroyed after they are opened. What's more, bleached paper is commonly used to make boxes and envelopes intended for overnight shipping.
In the late 1990s, UPS and FedEx reduced the amount of packaging material they used, saving on costs, and allowing them to discount freight services further. They turned to more reusable packaging and no longer used bleached paper in packaging. Both companies increased the use of recycled plastic and paper in their boxes and envelopes. These changes reduced air pollution, wastewater and energy. They also saved money, which UPS and FedEx passed on to their customers in their shipping contacts.