The Environmental Cost of 2 Day Shipping

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Worth emphasizing the environmental cost of 2 Day shipping, which comes with Amazon Prime, is huge, when compared with 3-5 day shipping, per this article on Grist. When I realized this, I started checking the box that says “No-Rush Shipping”.

Free two-day shipping — the hallmark of Amazon’s plan to squeeze out traditional retailers — burns through significantly more emissions than standard shipping or traditional in-store shopping.

When you wait three to five days for shipment, Jaller explains, Amazon has time to find the most efficient (and cheapest) way to deliver goods. Aviation is by far the most carbon-intensive transit option, and with more time the company can route your package by land, instead of by air…and group your package with other, similar deliveries.

“The concept of Amazon Prime pushes us towards more emissions…and makes the marginal cost of purchases very small, so you have motivation to buy more. And of course, that’s what Amazon wants.”

And the more shipments, the more packaging. The more packaging, the more waste. Go “No Rush”!

6 thoughts on “The Environmental Cost of 2 Day Shipping

  1. Interesting finding and should be generally applicable to other ecomnerce players who offered faster delivery options

  2. For better or worse, cheap expedited shipping seems here to stay. So it becomes a forcing function: for smarter inventory networks (that can anticipate which products need to be where and when), for more environmentally-friendly linehaul and local courier delivery (eventually, solar- or wind-charged EVs), and of course eco-friendlier packaging.

  3. Pingback: Two Day – Technology as Nature

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