With the frenzy of Christmas shopping behind us, last-mile parcel collection point network, Hubbed is encouraging Australian online retailers to maximise profits and reduce their carbon footprint by using Pick-Up and Drop-Off (PUDO) network services for deliveries and accepting returns.

As opposed to individually returned purchases, returns dropped-off at PUDO collection points by customers would substantially lessen the environmental impact through increased parcel pick-up density and fewer carriers on roads. It would also reduce logistics costs through cheaper, more productive freight, year-round, not just post-Christmas.

“Australian retailers should keep in mind that each item returned doubles its logistics carbon footprint. Consumers are becoming more aware of the importance of sustainability, while online retailers are increasingly aware of the costs of ignoring the issue,” Hubbed CEO and founder, David McLean said.

Hubbed research shows for every kilometre of courier service using Hubbed’s PUDO network, there is an estimated reduction in carbon emissions of 0.47kg tC002 – an approximate emission reduction of 50%.

As well as the environmental costs, poor returns systems can also cost online retailers financially when the associated costs of shipping, returning, and preparing a refunded item for sale are factored in, according to McLean.

“Coincidentally, ‘revenue generation’ now joins ‘public perception’ and ‘importance to investors’ as a top reason for an organisation’s sustainability program. Sustainability is now a financial must-have for any organisation, especially online retailers with a large dependence on deliveries,” he said.

McLean suggests two steps online retailers can take to reduce their logistical carbon footprint. “Firstly, enact an easy returns policy. A streamlined refund process, complete with clear instructions for returning purchases, offers peace of mind. Secondly, using a convenient returns drop-off location can improve purchase return logistics and reduce financial and environmental costs in several ways.”

Hubbed connects with most major eCommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento and carrier partners including Toll, TNT, Fedex, UPS, Sendle, DHL, Seko Logistics, Royale International, and Couriers Please. Hubbed’s agnostic service allows retailers to use their preferred courier or delivery partner.