Like many things we expect and enjoy in our society, next-day and same-day delivery of purchases have been sold to us as something we need and now we can’t live without them – even if they are both causing unethical treatment of employees and environmentally unsustainable.
Actually, we can and should live without them but, the “sheeple” keep demanding more and more of what they were told they had to have. If you say something long enough it becomes the truth.
The lockdowns of the pandemic accelerated the move toward convenience-buying and demand for faster and faster delivery. Absolutely unnecessary and costly, yet we demanded it.
What else were we going to do?
Never mind that it was taking its toll physically and psychologically on our workforces, as highlighted in this article from the Univeristy of Washington.
It’s no surprise to anyone who was paying attention that truck drivers, warehouse workers, delivery drivers, and almost everyone in the supply chain were overworked.
Working weekends and late into the night. Deliveries on Sundays of packages and the mail are still commonplace. The impacts are still being felt in industries that just can’t keep workers because they are sick of the pace.
A better quality of life is desired. Where have I heard that one lately?
Yet we still sit at home and order products and select same-day delivery; because we can. No, you don’t need it. Don’t argue, you don’t.
We never once stop and think about the negative impacts to ourselves, society, and the environment.
No, Jeff Bezos is not right. Hold on. I didn’t say he was stupid or unintelligent. He is very smart and successful. Feel better about it? You shouldn’t, it implies something much more sinister.
Geekwire has an excellent article on the subject in which they quote Bezos, who is now Amazon’s Executive Chairman. “Although it’s counterintuitive, the fastest delivery speeds generate the least carbon emissions because these products ship from fulfillment centers very close to the customer — it simply becomes impractical to use air or long ground routes,” he said.
This is close to one of the most illogical statements I have ever heard. Yet, people buy it.
Here is the thing. The products are not produced by magic next to population centers. The products that Amazon sells for same-day or next-day delivery are pre-positioned there.
They move the same distance by the same methods as before. There is ZERO reduction in Amazon’s carbon footprint. It sounds counter-intuitive because it is complete B.S.
That last part of the quote makes me laugh every time I think of it. “…it becomes impractical to use air or long ground routes.”
Get out of town! You’re not going to fly my shipment from four miles away anymore? What the….how about team driver service? No?
And, by who’s design? Amazon’s.
Meanwhile, the fact is that e-commerce growth alone is “driving the need for increased capacity across our network, including fleet expansion…” That’s from UPS.
Warehouse automation is greener! Nope. Warehouse automation requires more energy consumption. Here’s a hint…electricity isn’t as green as you think.
UPS emissions increased 6.2% in 2018 from 2015 and “We’re…generating more emissions in response to market demands and to serve the growing supply chain needs of our customers,” stated Crystal Lassiter, UPS senior director of Global Sustainability & Environmental Affairs.
The growing demand is e-commerce and next-day or same-day delivery. What have those markets done since 2018? Shrunk? Nope.
Have we moved to EVs? Nope.
Are the EVs in use powered by green electricity? Nope.
Did Amazon add 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo planes? Yes.
Are they green? Nope.
I could go on and on, but I will stop at this.
Same-day and next-day deliveries are not greener or more sustainable than five- to seven-day delivery windows. They are not better for the workers’ quality of life and they require automation which is also neither green nor sustainable. The normalization of expedited delivery does not change the fact that delivery density is severely reduced.
No, you are not keeping people off the street by delivering a game controller on the same day. You are ensuring a driver is on the street instead of having a customer wait until the next time they are out to buy it.
Follow the retail dollar. Next-day and same-day delivery are bad. In almost every non-emergency situation.
Peace and love.