Fleet Company Sustainability Efforts Part 1
Fleet companies are making efforts to ensure sustainability in their operations. XPO Logistics, UPS Freight, ABF Freight, YRC Freight, and Estes Express have made sustainability efforts in their quest to meet sustainability objectives.
- XPO approaches sustainability as part of their purpose driven corporate focus. They seek to be innovative in "promoting environmental, social and organizational" sustainability through their business practices and models. Because of their focus on sustainability, they've been named a top 75 green supply partner for three years running from 2016 to 2018.
- The company requires its independent contractors and all business partners to show a high regard for the environment. For instance, in Europe where multimodal combinations of rail, river, sea and road transportation are applicable, the company uses technology to tailor door-to-door solutions that minimize carbon footprint.
- Some of the company's fleet initiatives include modernizing equipment, transitioning to alternative fuels when practical and using new technologies to become even more efficient at routing drivers, loading trucks and handling freight on their cross-docks. Within the company LTL facilities, they have energy-saving policies in place and a phased upgrade to LED lighting. Other conservation initiatives include the recycling of used motor oil to be used as heating fuel.
- In 2018, the company invested $90 million in North America to purchase 500 new Freightliner Cascadia tractors, 270 Navistar International LTL tractors, and 19 Freightliner M2 straight trucks; all of which meet Global Greenhouse Gas regulations.s1
- In 2018, the company in Europe expanded their fleet of alternative fuel vehicles as part of their commitment under the CO2 Charter to cut total vehicle GHG emissions by 6% over a three-year period and reduce other air pollutants.
- In Spain, the company operates government-approved mega-trucks that are 25 meters long and carry a maximum load of 60 tons, compared with the standard 40 tons. Due to their larger capacity, mega-trucks reduce road miles and cut CO2 emissions by as much as 20% for the same freight volume.
- In France, the company has invested in liquified natural gas (LNG) trucks that reduce fine-particle emissions and generate up to 70% less NO2 emissions than the limit permitted by the Euro VI Standard.
- XPO logistics contributed to the adoption of zero-emissions vehicles in Europe as in 2018. They used electric vehicles to move freight a total of 12,580 kilometers within the city of Florence, Italy.
- The company makes use a CO2 Calculator in Europe enabling them to make decisions based on CO2 emissions that come along with the distance the customer goods might be transported. In instances where CO2 emissions are high, the company recommends use multimodal solutions or may explore the use of alternative fuels.
- Sustainability is an inherent part of UPS strategy and business operations. The company aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions for the supply chain of many businesses.
- UPS has set an ambitious goal to reduce GHG emissions of its global ground operations by 12 percent in 2025. This is backed by three supporting targets; by 2020, one in four of the vehicles they purchase will employ alternative fuel or advanced technology; by 2025, 40 percent of all ground fuel will come from sources other than conventional fuels, and 25 percent of total electricity will come from renewable sources.
- The company collaborates with the Seattle Department of Transportation and University of Washington to make deliveries using electric-assist cargo bikes in downtown Seattle’s congested Pike Place Market area.
- It makes use of the Circular economy principle which is as a result of its long-time logistics partnership with TerraCycle’s innovative recycling programs. They provide shipping expertise for Loop by delivering ordered items to customers’ doors and collecting the empty packaging items which are then cleaned and refilled.
- The company provides carbon emission data with industry leading accuracy and detail to help customers understand, monitor and manage their climate impacts.
- Ups Carbon Neutral shipping program is utilized by the company to enable customers to ship more with less impact. This enables the customer to counterbalance the impact of their deliveries through carbon offsetting and help fund environmental projects around the world that reduce carbon emissions.
- The company is modernizing its network by expanding the use of route optimization and navigation software that reduces fuel and emissions across their network from package pick-up to delivery.
- In London, the company is testing smart-grid technology that can charge an entire fleet of electric vehicles simultaneously. Since 2009, they have invested more than $1 billion in alternative fuel, advanced technology vehicles, and infrastructure globally.
- The company also collaborates with cities to create innovative last-mile delivery solutions that reduce congestion and pollution in dense urban centers with more than 30 projects currently underway around the world.
- ABF Freight focuses on creating and maintaining sustainable practices in the industry. The company's major goals include noise reduction, air quality, biofuels, safety, efficiency, growth, competition and cost.
- Due to its commitment to green transportation, the company received a Smartway Excellence Award from the US Environmental protection agency.
- ABF Freight makes a conscious and determined effort to increase fuel efficiency and reduce fuel consumption with a strict maintenance and replacement program.
- ABF freight began voluntarily limiting the top speeds of its trucks to conserve fuel and reduce emissions in 1976. In 1994, the company incorporated new trucks with computerized engine shut-offs which effortlessly reduced idling, minimized fuel consumption, and minimized emissions.
- The company makes use of environmental friendly trucks. In 2016, they purchased 600 road tractors that offered decreased emissions, better fuel economy and automated manual transmissions.
- ABF Freight limits the maximum speed for its fleet of road tractors to 62 miles per hour to optimize each vehicle's fuel efficiency. At this speed, each truck emits 18 fewer tons than identical vehicles operating at 68 miles per hour.
- The company also purchased 800 new 28-foot trailers with aerodynamic skirts to add to its fleet of 15,000 trailers which are already retrofitted with that feature to improve fuel economy and reduce wind resistance.
- ABF equipment are evaluated by ArcBest to make sure all vehicles are maintained at peak performance for clean, fuel-efficient freight transportation. This is important because maintenance of engine parts and other truck parts improve vehicle reliability, saves on fuel, reduce emissions, and enhance safety for drivers.
- The YRCW companies have twin goals of reducing their carbon footprint and maximizing corporate resources.
- The company was awarded the highest ranking by EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership for fuel efficiency and environmental sustainability for 5 years consecutively.
- Since 2015, the company has replaced 20% of their 14,000 tractors and 15% of their 44,000 trailers.
- All the company's 53-foot and 28-foot trailers entering the fleet are equipped with aerodynamic skirts and fuel-efficient tires.
- The company is testing out LNG vehicles in a limited pilot project to see how they operate within their network. It is also testing electrical yard vehicles in California.
- A limited number of hybrid diesels are being used for city pickup and delivery in the northeast.
- The company has engine-idling restrictions which reduce emissions and save fuel. They have eliminated overnight idling of their trucks by purchasing more than 460,000 hotel room nights annually for their drivers.
- They make use of a tire-pressure program which shows the real fuel efficiencies and related emissions reductions.
- The company uses biodiesel fuel, an emerging alternative, which burns cleaner than petroleum-based diesel.
- Estes Express was awarded Inbound Logistics’ 2019 G75 Green Supply Chain Partners Award, recognizing them as among the top 75 companies that go above and beyond to help shippers maintain sustainable, eco-friendly supply chain operations.
- Some company's sustainability goals include reduction of greenhouse emissions , implementation of reuse and recycling programs, reduction of energy and fuel consumption, use of sustainable source materials, and installation of energy-efficient lighting.
- The company's statement " Eyes on the road and our environment" depicts the company's responsibility to move freight in the most environmentally friendly manner possible.
- In addition to helping preserve the environment, the company's green initiatives allow them to operate with efficiency and with lower costs.
- In 2004, the company was among the first truck companies to join Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership. This has improved energy efficiency and security while reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
- The company replaced older, less-efficient tractors with EPA-certified models. By the end of 2018, 70% of the company's tractors were four years old or newer.
- The company has employed the most efficient drivers and has installed onboard PeopleNet computers in their tractors which help them monitor speed, braking and other engine data. This enables the company to manage driving performance and in turn they save fuel and reduce emissions.
- The company keeps truck engines in good condition while keenly observing its performance. This ensures less fuel is burnt and there is little emission of CO2.
- The company also makes use of carbon footprint calculations to enable maintaining of carbon footprint relatively flat despite their growth.
In order to identify the sustainability efforts being made by listed fleet companies, the research team searched through the websites of individual fleet companies. The team further consulted industrial reports on sustainability trends and initiatives in fleet companies. From these resources, some sustainability efforts being made by these fleet companies include adopting advanced technology, using alternative sources of energy that are clean, formulating environmentally-friendly policies, and using technology to monitor carbon footprint to ensure that it remains flat.