By Joseph Evangelist
Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange
It has been said that up to 75% of a company’s carbon footprint comes from transportation and logistics. Reducing your carbon footprint is not only good for the environment but also leads to incremental operational efficiency.
There are a variety of factors that affect a fleet’s fuel consumption and emissions levels. Closely examining each factor will allow you to make changes that will lead to improvements.
Here are some things you can do to improve fuel efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint:
- Spec right: Good fuel economy starts with a properly spec’ed vehicle. The good news is that all the truck OEMs are offering significant aerodynamic options for their tractors. There are a number of technologies you can select — trailer skirts, “flow below” wheel covers, low rolling resistance tires, idle-reduction devices trailer edge devices and many more — that will help you get even more out of a gallon of diesel.
- Train drivers: Drivers play a significant role in your fleet’s fuel efficiency — they have as much as 30% impact on fuel economy. Make sure driver training gives them tips for driving in a fuel-efficient manner and avoiding things like quick starts and hard braking. Utilize the ECM reports to show the drivers their actual performance.
- Optimize routing: When was the last time you looked at your routing? Now might be a good time to determine if you can make some changes that will take wasted miles out of drivers’ routes. Talk to your customers about the possibility of changing delivery windows to help you be more efficient.
- Investigate backhaul opportunities: We all have heard that old saying, “Nothing is more expensive to ship than air.” Empty trailers are costing you money. Look for backhaul opportunities to fill trailers and improve your operating efficiency.
- Comply with regulations: Some EPA, DOT and OSHA regulations focus on environmental issues. Recycle fluids and other materials when possible and follow proper methods for disposing of hazardous waste.
- Vet your suppliers: Ask your suppliers about their sustainability efforts in terms of energy and natural resource conservation.
These simple steps will help improve your green image and contribute to your bottom line. Challenge your safety team to find other opportunities within your organization. Even think about creating an incentive for those that are suggested and ultimately implemented.