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  • Writer's pictureSergey Bort

6 Real Ways to Improve Sustainability in Trucking

6 Real Ways to Improve Sustainability in Trucking

In recent years, a major movement has been toward sustainability in trucking. Now that folks are more considerate of their actions' impact on the environment, there is a lot of interest in green trucking solutions, emissions reduction in trucking and beyond. Because of this, there are options for sustainable logistics companies that help your business get its goods where it needs to go but with less of an impact on the environment.

Today, GP Transco will teach you everything you need to know about sustainable trucking technologies. You’ll discover why upgrading to eco-friendly vehicles is essential, plus how to implement fuel management systems to increase fuel efficiency in trucking and beyond.

Upgrading to Eco-Friendly Vehicles

First, let’s examine the reasons why upgrading to eco-friendly vehicles is worthwhile. Logistics companies interested in increasing sustainability in trucking have invested in eco-friendly vehicles, such as electric or alternative fuel trucks.

There are plenty of benefits associated with using them. Here are some.

Companies are using eco-friendly vehicles to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that would result from traditional diesel trucks. Fewer emissions help reduce air pollution, which can ultimately help with climate change.

There’s also the corporate social responsibility (CSR) factor. For businesses looking to do good, working with sustainable logistics companies can help ensure that your business checks its boxes regarding CSR. That way, consumers can feel good about purchasing your items—they’re getting a great product and doing well for the environment.

From the logistics company's side, electric and hybrid trucks are usually considered more fuel-efficient than traditional vehicles. Logistics companies will also enjoy that, while the cost to acquire the vehicles may be higher upfront, it can save money in the long run.

There's also the factor of regulatory compliance and government incentivization. Governments are starting to enact stricter emissions regulations, which is a great way for logistics companies to ensure that they meet goals and reduce emissions. Plus, the government will often offer incentives such as subsidies or tax credits to boost the likelihood that companies will adapt to this.

Implementing Advanced Fuel Management Systems

The good news is that smart fuel management can help significantly reduce fuel consumption and admissions. Here’s what you need to know about that.

One way to save valuable time and money and be more eco-friendly is to invest in software that will help with route optimization. Now, there are software options available to help logistics organizations figure out the most fuel-effective route for their vehicles.

Additionally, wise logistics companies will offer driver training to demonstrate to drivers why sustainability in trucking is crucial. By helping drivers understand why eco-friendly trucking practices are a must, they’ll be willing to play a role in reducing carbon footprint in trucking.

So, how do you train drivers on efficient driving techniques? Here are a few suggestions that can help.

The first step is to set up a session to teach them how to use the available software. The second step is to set up a program to incentivize the actual use of the software and implement sustainable steps.

Enhancing Route Optimization

Enhancing route optimization will be your team’s best friend when looking to increase trucking sustainability. That is where your GPS and routing software come into the picture.

By using GPS and routing software, you can reduce unnecessary mileage and fuel usage. The good news is that your drivers don’t need to plan more efficient routes alone—you can implement strategies to help.

When your drivers use route optimization software, you'll notice a difference in their environmental impact. The software considers traffic, road restrictions and the necessary delivery schedules.

This allows the software to feed your team the best route. It’s easy for them, and it saves energy. In other words, it’s good for your clients, your team and the environment.

Another way route optimization can help is by factoring in traffic patterns and prioritizing deliveries in a logical order, so your team does not have to backtrack. One of the stand-out ways to enhance route optimization is to consider real-time conditions. Just because a route is great at 5 a.m. doesn’t mean it will be just as effective at 5 p.m.

Investing in Aerodynamic Modifications

Another factor you should consider when considering sustainability in trucking is investing in aerodynamic modifications. The first thing you should add to your fleet is trailer skirts.

These can help reduce the air turbulence underneath the truck, improving your fleet's fuel efficiency. Another option is to add roof fairings to the top of your trailer. This will help you ensure seamless airflow over your trailer.

Ultimately, your goal is to do whatever you can from an aerodynamic standpoint to improve how your vehicle works and, therefore, the amount of fuel it uses. If you implement fixes on the entirety of your fleet, these modifications can provide significant improvements.

Adopting Renewable Energy Practices

Adopting renewable energy practices for a logistics company is key to ensuring your business succeeds in the coming years and decades. Here are some ways to adapt renewable energy practices and make a difference for your business and the earth.

The first opportunity is integrating solar panels and additional renewable energy sources in trucking operations. Solar panels are a great way to obtain renewable energy without costing the earth.

You can also use solar panels to power your business offices. While there is a price associated with doing so upfront, this can save you money in the long run, making it an effective investment.

Not to honk our own horn, but GP Transco’s feature in FreightWaves highlights our efforts to install solar panels on our entire fleet of roughly 600 trucks after recently testing the technology on 10 trucks over a six-month period.

GP Transco’s vice president of maintenance and safety, Brett Wilkie, mentioned that the custom-fit panel design for Freightliner’s Cascadia will be installed on more than 200 of those models this year—a savings of roughly $1,700 per truck per year.

Promoting a Sustainability Culture Within the Company

You’ll also want to take action to promote sustainability within your organization. It’s essential that you foster this within your driver community. One way to do so is to incentivize employees to prioritize sustainability.

You can run internal communication events to demonstrate the importance of sustainability in trucking and get driver buy-in. Offering training will also go a long way toward answering drivers' questions.

Sustainability can enhance your company image and make employees feel part of something larger than themselves, which can also be powerful. This can help garner and retain drivers, especially during the ongoing truck driver shortage.

Regulatory Compliance and Beyond

You probably already know that trucking companies must comply with certain regulations set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA. However, these regulations are almost guaranteed to change over the coming years.

Your best bet is to be proactive. In other words, don’t be behind the trends—sustainability in trucking isn’t a trend, and it’s here to stay. Instead of being at the back of the pack, you can be a logistics leader in sustainability by investing in proactive sustainable solutions.

There is no telling what regulations will be created in the future to ensure that the environment doesn’t suffer the impacts of the commercial trucking industry. Because of this, it’s a great idea to get started early and make using renewable energy in transportation your priority.

Ready to work with a company that prioritizes sustainability? Check out how GP Transco can fit your needs today.

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