Ruan Transport, a national daily hauler, has joined the new Environmentally Sustainable Methods for Achieving Responsible Transportation (E-SMART) project, an effort of the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fluid milk transport
by 20 percent by 2020.

The new project will help trucking companies implement fuel-efficiency best practices to reduce emissions. The project will be co-chaired by Jim Mulvenna, Ruan's vice president and general manager, West Coast operations.

"Creating a more sustainable dairy supply chain significantly benefits everyone from dairy farmers to American families that enjoy dairy products," said Mulvenna. "As an E-SMART leader, Ruan will create and implement responsible model procedures that other trucking companies can also adapt to achieve greater sustainability and fuel efficiency."

The project will recruit industry experts to create guidelines specific to the dairy transportation aimed at decreasing carbon dioxide emissions by 165,000 metric tons annually, potentially saving 16.5 million gallons of diesel fuel. At a cost of about $3.50 per gallon, this would amount to $57.7 million in savings.

E-SMART will urge dairy transporters to join the EPA's SmartWay program, which offers free strategic tools and resources that drivers and fleet managers can use to reduce fuel consumption, such as controlling speed and reducing idle time.

"There are many significant dairy-specific fuel efficiency opportunities for transportation and distribution," said Rick Naczi, executive vice president of strategic industry analysis and evaluation at Dairy Management Inc. "Applying retrofits to existing trucks can reduce each truck's fuel consumption by more than 8 percent while driving, and up to 60 percent while idling. Behavioral changes on the part of the drivers have the potential to improve fuel efficiency by 5 percent to 25 precent."

More info: