All around us we see giant trucks every day. They are each hauling something different, but they also have 2 things in common. First, our society needs these trucks and the goods they are hauling to keep up our day to day lives. And second, for every mile these trucks drive they leave behind them a carbon footprint. The transport industry is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions around the world. While every sector is working to make its own improvements, when it comes to reducing the damage
of commercial trucking, it seems that collaborative partnerships are turning out to be crucial.

The Shipping Market Place

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One clever new way some trucking companies are changing the world is through shipping and transport marketplaces. It’s not complexity or revolutionary technology that makes it so brilliant; it’s simply smart logistics. A shipping marketplace allows for individuals and companies to come together to maximize shipping efficiency and reduce their costs. Through a marketplace like anyone can post a listing of their shipping needs and companies can bid on it. And any cargo can be accommodated, whether you need cross country movers or horse transport, you can link up with the right company to get the job done. The shipping market place allows everyone to make the connections that will help them, re-locate or improve business while keeping their shipping costs down.

Eliminate Empty Space

One of the greatest secret tragedies of the commercial trucking sector is wasted cargo space. The fact is for many trucks a good portion of their travelling miles are spent hauling empty containers. This waste of space means that a job done by 3 different trucks carrying small loads could have been done by one truck.  If those loads could have been consolidated it would have resulted in a significant decrease in carbon emissions. Through a shipping marketplace, those kinds of partnerships can be made. In the end you get your stuff where it needs to go, and the environment gets a little break.

Carbon Offsets

Even though carbon reduction is the ideal, carbon offsets are at least a step in the right direction. The general idea is that carbon offsets re purchased by carbon producers to help literally “offset” their impact on the environment by supporting green initiatives. The money brought in by the carbon offset program goes toward funding projects like, methane collection and renewable energy. Generally carbon offsets are most frequently purchased by government and large companies but small businesses and individuals can participate as well.  For public and private entities that have significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions, their purchases may be mandatory. But for the most part carbon offsets are a voluntary program that green–minded companies participate in at will.


Carbon offsets as a concept are one thing but actually making it a reality takes a middle man, like Terra pass. When a business or person wants to take a leap toward going green they can get in touch with TerraPass to get involved in the program. TerraPass will calculate the carbon footprint of your company or lifestyle and help you figure how much you will need in the way of carbon offsets to make yourself or your business carbon neutral. Once you purchase offsets from TerraPass that funding will be passed on directly to initiatives like wind energy and landfill methane flaring. There are a number of different kinds of Terra passes that can be acquired, from a Road TerraPass to help offset car emissions, to a Wedding TerraPass for weddings and other events. In the last 7 years, TerraPass has helped to reduce more than 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide.

By incorporating all of these ideas Uship has made a mission of going green. It’s not just about PR, it’s a lifestyle. Their entire model is based on the concept of matching customer shipments with transporters’ extra space. By creating partnerships between people in a shipping marketplace they fill empty cargo space and help reduce the amount of trucks on the road. And even though the entire premise of uShip is a step toward a greener world, they’ve kept that philosophy in everything they do. By partnering with TerraPass they have purchased enough to carbon offsets to make 100% of their internal operations carbon neutral. In fact since 2006, approximately 25,000 uShip shipping customers have offset the carbon footprint of their deliveries. Collectively, that represents about 26 million offset miles by transporters. That’s a lot of miles.

Creative thinking, compromise and collaboration are going to be our most powerful weapons in the fight to save the environment. When we work together and re-think the way we do even simple things like shipping cars and furniture, perhaps as a society we can find a light at the end of the tunnel. The common theme between all of these steps toward greener shipping is the co-operation. When people come together and work together to change the world, real progress may finally be within our grasp.


Guest post by Jade Evans.
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Jade is a writer and outreach specialist for uShip. Their shipping marketplace allows for collaboration on just about any kind of transport from heavy haul to car shipping. Jade has been writing and blogging for a number of years and has a lifelong passion for going green.