This year’s HDT Top Green Fleet honorees, as well as nominations and entries, reflect a surge in zero-emission technology exploration and adoption.
While California is a hotspot for this activity because of its regulatory environment, even outside of California, many of our Top Green Fleets this year are buying one or two battery-electric or even hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to see how they might work in their operations.
Quite a few are using electric yard trucks and electric forklifts, with those being an excellent place to start adopting zero-emission technology because the charging logistics are simpler.
Another trend we’re seeing among the Top Green Fleets is adoption of alternative fuels, especially renewable diesel and renewable natural gas.
But for many fleets, the main focus is wringing every mile possible out of a gallon of fuel, using the latest fuel-efficient truck models, aerodynamic add-ons, low-rolling-resistance tires, automatic tire inflation, driver coaching, and more.
And it’s not just about fuel mileage, zero-emissions vehicles, or alternative fuels. It’s also about freight efficiency, whether that’s using technology to optimize routes and maximize capacity utilization or moving some freight to intermodal.
As Yellow explained, “An underutilized new tractor with the latest and greatest emissions reduction software is only as efficient as the maximized payload it hauls.”
How the Top Green Fleets are Chosen
Each year, we put out a call for nominations and fleet submissions to be considered for HDT’s Top Green Fleets. Our editors comb through those submissions and evaluate a number of factors in making their decision, including:
- Adoption of alternative fuels and drivetrains
- Industry-leading fuel economy
- Freight-efficiency strategies
- Leading-edge “green” facilities
- Sustainability goals
- Recent progress in sustainability journey
- Willingness to share their experience with others
- Other “green” awards received
- Plans for the coming year
Below, we’ve highlighted 25 fleets of various sizes and types of operations that are showing leadership in sustainability. This year’s Top Green Fleets are listed in alphabetical order.
4 Gen Logistics — Rialto, California
This drayage operator, the California subsidiary of Duncan & Son Lines, will complete construction of 90 charging stations and take delivery of 61 new battery-electric trucks by this summer. The company has committed to becoming an all zero-emission fleet in 2025 and never buying another diesel truck again. Its remaining diesels use biodiesel and renewable natural gas and are no more than five years old.
What's next: Working with customers that align with the green goals of 4 Gen and deliver their containers with zero-emission trucks.
A. Duie Pyle — West Chester, Pennsylvania
This regional less-than-truckload/intermodal/warehousing operation operates more than 1,500 heavy-duty and more than 100 medium-duty trucks. Sustainability has become one of Pyle’s biggest priorities. The company invests in fuel-efficient technologies, such as aerodynamics, advanced cruise control, and self-inflating tires, and focuses on reducing idling time. Newer, smaller trucks are more fuel-efficient than older models. Its ECO (Environmentally Conscious Operation) Program has led to key sustainability initiatives, including its 100% solar energy-powered warehouse in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania; paperless dock management; and converting to electric forklifts.
What’s next: Purchase two fully electric trucks and charging stations by the end of 2024 or early 2025 to prepare its workforce to operate and maintain electric trucks.
Artur Express — Hazelwood, Missouri
Artur Express, a for-hire fleet of 750 trucks, operates local/urban P&D, regional, and long-haul. This year it bought two Freightliner eCascadias and one Volvo VNR Electric for its local, dedicated fleet, and installed two chargers. But its big sustainability focus is on incentivizing and coaching drivers on fuel-efficient driving habits such as using cruise control; cutting down on idle time; slowing down their speed; etc. Using data on these habits, Artur breaks out drivers into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum ratings tied to bonuses. Its Platinum drivers average 8 mpg; Bronze drivers average 7.3 mpg. The program helped improve the fleet’s average efficiency from 6.9 mpg to 7.5 mpg.
What’s next: Increase investments in electric vehicles for local, dedicated accounts.
Boyle Transportation — Billerica, Massachusetts
Boyle Transportation is a niche carrier focused on high quality, safety, and security services to biotech and pharmaceutical organizations as well as the U.S. military and defense contractors. A 26.2% reduction in fuel consumption over 2015 numbers (when the fleet was half its current size of 100) was achieved by maintaining a modern fleet of equipment, trading at two years or 500,000 miles. Proprietary routing software also improved efficiency. Its corporate headquarters is powered by solar panels — as are its battery-electric forklifts. Since 2015, its CO2 emissions are down 20.1%.
What’s next: Work toward three-year goal to reduce energy consumption by an additional 15% over 2019 numbers and install solar panels (or similar idle reduction technology) in 100% of its equipment. Have 100% of tractors GHG II compliant (currently at 90%) by the end of next year.
City of Long Beach, Fleet Services Bureau — Long Beach, California
This government fleet of 2,200 has 224 heavy-duty trucks and 205 medium-duty. The fleet uses a variety of alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas, renewable diesel, renewable propane, full electric, and hybrid electric vehicles. Long Beach had the first municipal refuse truck in the nation with the Cummins ISL G Near Zero natural gas engine. It transitioned its entire aging fleet of street sweepers to natural gas. The investment in alternative fuels has resulted in a 5.6% increase in overall fuel economy from 2021 to 2022. Consultants are finishing a blueprint for medium/heavy-duty electric vehicle infrastructure implementation.
What’s next: Setting a goal of reducing emissions by 1% per year while increasing alternative fuel vehicle count by 2% per year.
City of Madison Streets — Madison, Wisconsin
Madison Streets aims to be the greenest truck fleet in North America. Since its green initiatives began in 2018, Madison Streets has saved more than 13 million pounds in CO2 emissions. Its fleet of more than 350 vehicles includes 282 heavy-duty and 24 medium-duty trucks. It runs B5 biodiesel in winter, B20 in warmer months, and 17 trucks run on B100 (100% biodiesel) year-round using Optimus retrofit technology. Two Class 8 Mack electric garbage trucks were added this spring. Through GPS/telematics, in a recent four-month period, it cut speeding by 43%, idling by 22%, and overall diesel usage by 29%. In 2021, it had the first municipal auto garage in North America to achieve LEED GOLD certification.
What’s next: By 2030, be the first major truck fleet in America to operate completely on EVs and B100.
County of Sacramento — Sacramento, California
More than 20 years ago, Sacramento County’s Department of Waste Management converted its route trucks to liquified natural gas. Now the complete heavy waste fleet operates on renewable LNG. Other alternative and renewable fuels are used in other parts of the 2,700-unit fleet, including renewable diesel, propane, and battery-electric. In FY 21-22, 62.3% of all fuel consumed by the fleet as a whole was alternative, renewable, or advanced technology (includes hybrids). The county is working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District on a “Charging as a Service” business model to eliminate high up-front capital costs of electrification.
What’s Next: Migrate to alternative, renewable or advanced technology: 75% by 2030, 100% by 2035. Increase use of telematics to monitor idling.
Detmar Logistics — San Antonio, Texas
Renewable natural gas is the sustainability focus of this regional fleet, which will have 180 trucks by July as it expands its footprint into the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It has partnered with Beyond6 to bring the first RNG station into the region to fuel its 65 natural-gas-powered trucks. 20 of them will have hybrid-electric powertrains. New trailers have been spec’ed to carry 3 more tons than previous trailers, reducing truck count needed by 10%.
What’s next: Retiring some diesel trucks and buying more RNG fueled trucks and a fleet of Hyliion's Hypertruck ERX to help meet its goal to reduce total emissions from transportation by 20% by the end of this year.
DVL Express — Markham, Illinois
DVL Express is a growing regional and long-haul for-hire fleet with 172 heavy-duty trucks that is focused on freight efficiency, fuel economy, and reducing idling. An emphasis on training and good load planning has increased its average fuel efficiency by over 1 mpg in the last year alone, to 6.8 mpg. This year it’s bringing in 30 new, more fuel-efficient Freightliner Cascadias. The company is planning routes to avoid empty miles and increasing local/regional and drop-and-hook lanes to cut idle time. The local/regional runs and 10 dedicated lanes will help allow DVL to use alternative fuels moving forward. It offers driver training and incentives to reduce idle time and improve mpg – including to its owner-operators. It has developed a new app (W1SE). DVL has nearly eliminated its paperwork and even provides employees reusable mugs and water bottles.
What’s next: Reach a fleetwide mpg of more than 7 mpg and buy five to 10 Tesla zero-emissions trucks; increase local/dedicated runs and open another terminal.
Giant Eagle — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
In the past eight years, Giant Eagle has cut carbon dioxide emitted throughout its operation by 22%, in part due to converting approximately 69% of its 200-plus truck fleet to alternative energy, with 131 running on renewable natural gas, and moving from diesel to electric yard trucks. In addition, fleet route efficiency software significantly reduces miles on the road. Giant Eagle’s goal across its operations, not just the fleet, is to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, with an initial target of 50% carbon dioxide reduction by 2030.
What’s Next: Converting 100% of its fleet to alternative fuel and energy by 2030; installing the largest rooftop solar project in Pennsylvania.
Knight-Swift Transportation — Phoenix, Arizona
The for-hire trucking giant, with 21,000-plus trucks, operates local, regional, long-haul, intermodal/drayage and warehousing. It has a goal of a 50% reduction in CO2 grams-per-mile output of the entire fleet by 2035 as compared to the 2019 baseline year. 1,200 of its 21,000 trucks use renewable diesel. The company also has two trucks running on renewable natural gas, five battery-electric trucks, and one fuel-cell electric truck, plus electric yard trucks and forklifts. It also has 100 medium-duty trucks, all on biodiesel. The Class 8 fleet has upwards of 80% idle stop/start technology installed, greatly reducing idle time.
What’s next: Accelerated deployment of electric Class 8 day cabs nationwide along with testing/piloting the new Cummins 15L ISXN natural gas engine. Higher penetration of renewable diesel in cooperation with fuel partners. Piloting hydrogen fuel cell trucks for regional haul applications.
M&M Cartage — Louisville, Kentucky
This for-hire fleet operates primarily local cartage and delivery. Of its 200 Class 8 trucks, 117 run on renewable natural gas, and it has obtained two battery-electric trucks. This year M&M retired older diesel tractors and replaced with them with new, more efficient models. The company is doing major overhauls on its existing CNG trucks to extend their lives. Operations software helps eliminate empty miles. All trucks and trailers have aerodynamic accessories, and M&M rewards and coaches drivers to improve efficiency. In 2022, average length of haul declined, but fuel economy improved from a company average of 6.35 mpg to 6.5. The current campus, completed in 2015, doubled in size while cutting Scope 2 emissions nearly in half.
What’s next: Adding six BEV trucks, for a total of eight, and building eight new charging stations to support them. Its goal for 2023 is to reach a CO2 grams per mile level of 1550 or lower.
NFI — Camden, New Jersey
NFI provides regional, long haul, intermodal and warehousing services. It partners with fuel vendors to ensure its 5,000-truck fleet uses cleaner fuels where available. Nearly 30% of its Scope 1 fuel use is sourced from energies that are cleaner than diesel and gasoline, including biodiesel, renewable diesel, electricity, propane, compressed natural gas, and renewable natural gas. It’s implementing infrastructure such as 350-kW ultra-fast DC charging cabinets, 1 megawatt of solar and 5 megawatt-hours of battery storage. To improve freight efficiency, its proprietary tool, FleetView, uses up-to-the-minute data and current weather overlays, traffic overlays, and other metrics to optimize routes.
What’s next: By the end of 2023, put into operation 100 battery-electric tractors, with 60 in Southern California drayage fleet by June, and build the nation’s first heavy-duty electric vehicle maintenance shop. In 2024, operate its first electric tractors on the East Coast, including four Freightliner eCascadias in the NYC metro area. Pilot its first hydrogen fuel cell tractor and take delivery of 10 Hyliion Hypertruck ERX trucks.
Nussbaum Transportation — Hudson, Illinois
Nussbaum’s focus on fuel efficiency in its 550-truck fleet is relentless. Using both technology and training, it has achieved a fleetwide mpg of 9.1 (compared to the industry avg. 6.3 and best-in-class 7.9). Among a host of fuel-saving specs are a 2.16 rear-end ratio for better downspeeding (it’s testing five trucks with a 2.05 ratio); solar panels to recharge truck and APU batteries; extensive trailer aerodynamic add-ons; automatic tire inflation, offset wheels, and more. Just as important, Nussbaum trains and incentivize drivers on fuel-efficient habits.
What’s next: For 2023 reach goal of idle time 10% or less and fuel efficiency above 9 mpg. Testing Idle Smart Analytics, the Mirror Eye Stoneridge system, adaptive tandems, and 40-inch cab extenders that deploy at 55 mph. 2024 model trucks will have a Detroit air suspension with a steer axle that drops 1 inch at 55 mph for increased aerodynamics.
Old Dominion Freight Line — Thomasville, North Carolina
This less-than-truckload carrier has a fleet of more than 11,250. It uses biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable natural gas in locations where it makes sense. Overall, low-carbon diesel accounts for approximately 20% of ODFL’s total bulk fuel purchases. Battery-electric forklifts, a Class 8 tractor, and a switcher are being piloted in Southern California. Freight efficiency is improved by advanced inbound route planning and by trailer deck bars and racking systems in its linehaul operations. Automatic tire inflation systems, low-rolling-resistance tires, aerodynamic specs on its linehaul equipment are complemented by fuel-efficiency training for drivers that is fine-tuned using telematics data.
What’s next: Continue to evaluate electric equipment, pursue opportunities for bio and renewable diesels, and monitor the market for new and alternative solutions in emission reduction technologies.
Penske Logistics — Reading, Pennsylvania
Penske has incorporated the latest alternative fuel technologies vehicles into its fleet of some 12,000 medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. Partnering with Daimler Truck North America, Penske is deploying Freightliner battery-electric trucks in southern California, supported by a network of heavy-duty EV charging stations at six Penske Truck Leasing facilities with DC fast-charging stations designed specifically for heavy-duty commercial vehicles. It’s converting its entire forklift fleet to electric. Penske has demonstrated a 1% year-over-year mpg improvement through fleet conversion, exclusively using renewable diesel in California, and route optimization right-sizing programs.
What’s next: A number of battery-electric yard trucks are on order for delivery in 2023.
Performance Team – A Maersk Company — El Segundo, California
As of December 2022, Performance Team has 30 Volvo VNR Electric trucks in operation, including 16 at its Santa Fe Springs, California, distribution center and 14 at its Commerce, California, distribution center. Drivers have already logged nearly 100,000 miles running short-haul trips in the Los Angeles market. Performance Team has installed 22 total electric vehicle chargers: eight 180-kW chargers in Santa Fe Springs; and six 350 kW and eight 150-kW chargers in Commerce.
What’s next: Accept delivery of 126 Class 8, zero-tailpipe emission trucks by Q3 2023. Its California-based fleet operates 215 trucks, which Performance Team intends to fully transition to battery-electric.
PGT Trucking — Aliquippa, Pennsylvania
PGT, which operates approximately 1,000 trucks, has focused on improving maintenance and upgrading its equipment for maximum fuel economy. As part of its model year 2022/2023 new equipment acquisitions, test results showed a 0.4 mpg improvement from optimizing the truck equipment specification. It’s placing a zero-emission, battery-electric tractor into dedicated service for a customer, it’s first venture into electric vehicles.
What’s next: In late 2023, begin receiving hydrogen FCEV trucks from Nikola (gamma as well as early production versions) and immediately incorporate them into its Phoenix fleet. Goal: 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025.
Pitt Ohio — Parma, Ohio
Pitt Ohio worked with Duquesne University to develop a carbon calculator to estimate emissions from its 1,200-truck fleet and facilities, allowing it to estimate emissions down to each customer and help customers understand their Scope 3 emissions. Fuel economy strategies include no idling; skirted trailers for improved aerodynamics; operating a modern and well-maintained fleet, and using telematics to monitor overall performance and excess trip reduction. It currently has three battery-electric vehicles, 89 electric forklifts, and operates some 30 trucks on compressed natural gas. Two of its terminals are equipped with renewable energy powered microgrids, with multiple solar and wind projects across many terminals. It boasts five LEED Certified buildings.
What’s next: More electric deployments and demonstrations for on-road use.
Ruan Transportation Management Systems — Des Moines, Iowa
Ruan, which operates a fleet of nearly 4,000 heavy-duty trucks, began testing Freightliner electric vehicles in 2021. It currently has six electric yard tractors, one of which was featured in NACFE’s 2021 Run on Less – Electric. All refrigerated trailers purchased in the past seven years have a 100% plug-in electric option. Ruan has logged more than 100 million miles on CNG trucks, powered mostly with RNG from anaerobically digested cattle manure, and it uses renewable diesel in California (over 3 million gallons in the past 3.5 years.) It works with engine manufacturers to develop longer-lasting, lower-emitting engines with improved performance and lower fuel consumption. Fuel-saving specs include automatic tire inflation systems for both tractor and trailer, APUs and automatic idle shutdown, aerodynamic trailers, and more.
What’s next: More EVs; piloting Hyliion Hypertruck electric-CNG hybrid tractors; providing Scope 3 fleet emissions information for customers; switching to soy-based lubricant for all fifth wheels.
Schneider — Green Bay, Wisconsin
With more than 10,000 tractors, Schneider’s sustainability initiatives include adding electric vehicles, optimizing shipping routes and improving freight efficiency, testing other zero-emission vehicles such as hydrogen fuel cell trucks, making updates to its existing diesel fleet, and improving its existing facilities. An order of nearly 100 Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 battery-electric trucks began arriving in early 2023 and the fleet is expected to be operational by the end of the year. It also ordered two electric yard spotters to replace diesel tractors at its Rancho Cucamonga, California, facility. Fuel-efficient truck specs include a lower rear axle ratio, updated rear fairing system, and electric APUs. Simulation-based training and education programs teach drivers how to improve their mileage.
What’s next: Piloting a Cummins fuel-cell-electric prototype and working with Bakken Energy on the design of the Heartland Hydrogen Hub in North Dakota.
System Freight — Jamesburg, New Jersey
This regional and dedicated for-hire fleet of 500 tractor and 3,600 trailers continues to evaluate alternative fuel vehicle use in its operations. It is expanding ordering of the fuel-efficient turbo compounding engine platform from Mack and Volvo, with 175 currently in service. These trucks are geared for fuel efficient operation, and currently achieve 8 to 9 mpg on average.
What’s next: Replacing over 150 older diesel trucks with a more fuel-efficient model in the next 12 to 18 months. Evaluating a new engine platform coming in 2024 it believes will allow its next incremental efficiency gains until it can make the case to use EVs in its operating environment.
TCI Transportation — Commerce, California
With more than 3,000 vehicles in intermodal, local, and regional operations, TCI is using alternative fuels (such as compressed natural gas and renewable natural gas) and battery-electric drivetrains. It has 20 Tesla Semi electric tractors on order, along with 50 electric yard tractors and another 30 Class 4 EVs. Four of its service vehicles are 100% electric for non-highway vehicles, and it’s using electric yard tractors at some of its dedicated operations. In Southern California, there is 700 kw of solar on its facility rooftops. TCI has been approved for the SCE Charge ready program for 20 charging stations at its Fontana, California, facility, and expects an additional 20 more charging stations at its Los Angeles location. TCI uses five different software programs to optimize routing.
What’s next: Working with MZHCI, an investor relations and sustainability consulting firm, to help establish goals for its fleet and footprint.
Werner Enterprises — Omaha, Nebraska
The trucking and logistics giant, with more than 8,600 trucks, is onboarding 10 Freightliner eCascadias in California, testing electric yard trucks, and bringing on a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to evaluate. Werner is on the leadership committee for Mid-Continent Clean Hydrogen Hub. It purchased and is testing a hybrid diesel battery-assist vehicle as well as 15L natural gas engines. Solar panels are being piloted on nearly 50 trucks to extend battery life and reduce jump-starts. Werner improves fuel economy and freight efficiency by maintaining a young fleet optimized for fuel efficiency, including idle reduction technology and APUs.
What’s next: Reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2035. Disclose Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Buy hydrogen internal combustion engines in 2024. Continue to test natural gas, alternative fuel and fuel-blend options, carbon capture, and more. Double intermodal by 2030, further reducing emissions.
Yellow Corp. — Nashville, Tennessee
Yellow’s focus is modernizing its LTL network through its One Yellow initiative, eliminating unnecessary mileage to improve freight efficiency. It’s also using electronic logging device data to detect and coach drivers on unnecessary idling. And it purchases more than 250,000 hotel room nights each year instead of idling trucks overnight. A recent fleet refresh is showing significant reductions in NOx emissions along with improvements in C02 grams per ton mile and PM reductions. Yellow buys hundreds of thousands of gallons of biodiesel annually. A pilot project is evaluating electric yard tractors in California.
What’s next: Continue to use technology as an essential partner to ensure linehaul trailers are optimized and loaded high and tight and that on the city side it’s using the most efficient routes.