November 2013, TruckingInfo.com - Cover Story
UPS has a long history of investments and expenditures that benefit environmental protection. Some stretch back decades, such as its work with alternative vehicles. UPS put its first such vehicle, powered by electricity, into service in the 1930s. Today its alternative fuel/technology fleet numbers 2,688 vehicles around the world.
Name an alternative powertrain and UPS has probably tried it, such as the hybrid electric package cars like the one shown here.
In the U.S., UPS has 93 LNG-powered heavy-duty vehicles out of 17,588. In Class 3-6 the alt fuel numbers are higher, with 854 CNG, 380 hybrid electric, 102 full electric and 41 hydraulic hybrid – out of 63,000 total vehicles in this class. The company has put in place a global IT system for tracking greenhouse gas emissions and is using solar power for facilities.
Since 2005, this 2012 SmartWay Excellence Award winner has been working toward a goal of doubling its efficiency by 2015. So far it’s achieved an 80% improvement. The combination of new equipment with better technology and increased system capabilities drove a 10% increase over 2011. It’s testing alternative fuels, including LNG and CNG, as well as renewable diesel from Dynamic Fuels.
Walmart has improved its overall efficiency by 80% since 2005, investing in fuel-efficient equipment such as trailer skirts (shown here), and also develops prototype vehicles in conjunction with manufacturers.
In addition, in partnership with truck and component manufacturers, it has built a number of prototype tractors, including hybrid assist, wheel-end hybrid assist, full propulsion hybrid and natural gas, with the goal of learning from testing in a real-life environment to improve the technology.
Waste Management has been a leader in the refuse industry’s conversion to CNG. In 2007, as part of its corporate sustainability goals, it committed to increase fleet fuel efficiency by 15% and reduce emissions by 15% by 2020. It beat that goal with a 20% reduction in fleet emissions by the end of 2011. In 2009, it launched its first natural gas initiative and now is converting its entire 32,000-plus fleet.
A leader in converting the refuse industry to natural gas, Waste Management expects to have 4,000 natural gas trucks (mostly CNG) by the end of 2014. It even offers its own brand of renewable diesel made from landfill methane, called Clean N Green CNG.
By the end of 2014 they expect to have 4,000 natural gas trucks. Over the summer it opened its 50th natural gas fueling station (18 are accessible to the public), and has a facility that fuels trucks on natural gas made from waste methane from a landfill.
With over 8,000 trucks, small savings add up fast. Among Werner’s green strategies are APUs to reduce idle time, aerodynamic trucks with the newest clean-burning diesels, aero add-ons for trailers such as side skirts and TrailerTails, computerized truck idling program, reducing maximum rpm to help minimize fuel burned at idle, lighter-weight truck and trailer materials, low-viscosity drivetrain lubricants, engines governed at 65 mph maximum. In addition, there are company-wide recycling programs for oil, tires, paper and aluminum, and electrical usage for lighting is controlled by timers during off hours.
Commerce City, Colo.
A small fleet with big sustainability goals, Westco has 43 Class 8 trucks, with 90% of the fleet already meeting 2014 CARB requirements. It uses idle reduction technology, air diversion/aero devices on tractors and on 75% of trailers, low-rolling-resistance tires on all tractors and trailers, tire pressure systems on 40% of trailers. There are driver incentive pay programs, plus it recycles all used oils, antifreeze, metals, office paper and plastics, with scanning and electronic filing systems to cut paper consumption. It’s planning to add a natural gas hostler and at least one natural gas Class 8 tractor in 2014. Westco increased its average mpg by 9% from 2009 to 2012.