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November 20, 2018

Green Supply Chain News: What are the top Green Trucking Fleets for 2018?

Interesting Activities from the Carriers and Fleets in the Annual List from Heavy Duty Trucking Magazine

By The Green Supply Chain Editorial Staff

Heavy Duty Trucking magazine is back this year with its annual list of the top Green truck fleets in the US, and as usual it's an interesting read.


However, for reasons not clear, this year’s list has been paired to 25 firms or government operations from the 50 that have been recognized in years past.

The Green Supply Chain Says:
Nussbaum Transportation of Illinois with some 400 tractors has achieved fuel efficiency through August of this year at 8.9 mpg fleetwide.

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The honorees are selected by Heavy Duty Trucking's editors. Candidates for the award are gathered through an on-line nomination process, as well as by using information gathered through press releases, news stories, websites, case studies, and other publicly available sources of information. All types and sizes of fleets are eligible, as long as they run medium- or heavy-duty commercial vehicles.


As usual, it's an eclectic mix. Notable missing this year are the largest for hire carriers or delivery firms, with the exception of UPS. There are, however, a number large private fleets (e.g., Frito-Lay, Meijer, Walmart), several municipal fleets, and a number of small trucking firms, such as FTC Transportation out of Oklahoma City, which operates about 30 tractors.

There is no attempt to rank the winners, but each carrier/fleet is given a short description of its efforts in Sustainability. You can find the full list 
here, but the 25 honorees for 2018 in alphabetical order are as follows:


• A. Duie Pyle
• Anheuser Busch
• Catalina Pacific
• City of Long Beach
• Frito-Lay

• FTC Transportation
• G&D Integrated
• Giant Eagle
• Hirschbach Motor Lines
• M&N Cartage
• Matheson Trucking
• Meijer Logistics
• Mesilla Valley Transportation
• Nussbaum Transportation
• City of New York
• Pitt Ohio
• Smokey Point Distributing
• Sheehy Mail Contractors
• System Freight Inc.
• Transport Corp. of America
• USA Truck
• Walmart


Below, we highlight some of the more interesting actions some of these 50 fleets have taken in going Green.

Anheuser-Busch made headlines this year when it announced it had placed an order for up to 800 hydrogen-electric heavy-duty trucks from Nikola Motor Co. as part of a plan to convert its entire dedicated fleet to renewable power by 2025. And late last year, it said it had ordered 40 new Tesla Semi electric tractors to help the company meet its sustainable transportation goal to reduce its carbon footprint by 30% by 2025.

Frito-Lay, part of Pepsico, currently runs 618 heavy-duty natural gas powered trucks, as well as 144 battery-electric medium-duty trucks and 118 medium-duty propane trucks. It also employs strategies such as low-rolling-resistance tires, improved aerodynamic design on trucks and trailers, synthetic fluids, engine downsizing, and idle shutdown. The fleet also uses GPS/telematics systems to optimize performance with scorecards for drivers idling, route optimization, fuel economy, speeding, and harsh braking/acceleration.

At the aforementioned FTC Transportation, every time a truck is brought in for service, an engine download is performed and reviewed one on one with the driver in an effort to improve upon current driving habits. Drivers are also eligible for quarterly bonuses based on fuel economy.

At M&M Cartage, out of nearly 200 trucks, 92 are powered by compressed natural gas, and it expects to reach 100 by the end of the year. In partnership with Kentuckiana Clean Fuel, M&M operates CNG fuel stations in Louisville and Sharonville, Ohio. The company is on its fifth year of calculating greenhouse gas emissions using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and reporting those emissions to the Carbon Disclosure Project. 


Mesilla Valley Transportation out of New Mexico was disappointed to see it was only averaging 6.8 mpg, lower than the 7.5 it was expecting, the first time it took a measure in 2004. Today MVT credits benchmarking as a key tool for identifying and sharing best practices. Based on its most current fleet assessment, excluding independent owner-operators hired under contract, MVT estimates that its fleet is running close to 9 mpg, which certainly puts it at the very top of the rankings for mileage.

Nussbaum Transportation of Illinois with some 400 tractors may be doing even better, with fuel efficiency through August of this year at 8.9 mpg fleetwide, with an average of 9.31 May through August. Nussbaum prioritizes safe driving habits that also improve fuel efficiency. Driver Clark Reed has acted as an ambassador for top fuel economy, including participating in the 2017 “Run on Less” road show.

 Smokey Point Distributing of Washington state, with 225 trucks, employs a fuel efficiency specialist whose primary role is to analyze fuel efficiency and improve productivity. Idle time is a key focus, and equipment has APUs, diesel-fired bunk heaters, and 5-minute idle shutdown timers. A monthly newsletter spotlights drivers with the least amount of idle time. Close attention is paid to transmission and rear difference gear ratios, as well as tire size, when spec’ing new equipment.


Lots of interesting Green activity by carriers and fleets for sure.

What did you find interesting in these actions by Green fleets? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

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