What does it mean to be “green”? For a trucking operation, whether for-hire, private, or government, it can mean many things. Lowering tailpipe emissions using alternative fuels and new electric and hybrid drivetrains. Using renewable fuels that make the most of scarce natural resources. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions by improving mpg or by improving efficiency to haul the same amount of freight with fewer trips. Building energy-efficient facilities or ones that use solar or wind to help provide power. Recycling.
You’ll find all these strategies and more being used by HDT’s 2019 Top Green Fleets highlighted on the following pages.
How do we choose our Top Green Fleets? We comb through nominations as well as press releases and stories we’ve run. We look at fleets’ long-term commitment to sustainability but also pay special attention to new initiatives. We look for companies that are acting as leaders in their industry, participating in pilot projects and testing new technologies, and sharing what they’ve learned with others.
The following 25 companies are the ones we’ve identified as this year’s leaders. They are presented in alphabetical order.
Think your company has what it takes to be an HDT Top Green Fleet? Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org outlining why, and we’ll put you in our selection process for next year.
A. Duie Pyle
West Chester, Pennsylvania
With more than 1,300 vehicles, this less-than-truckload regional carrier has added electric and hybrid medium-duty trucks for last-mile delivery. It’s piloting two of the first 20 electric Fuso eCanters in North America out of its Bronx service center – its first terminal to use 100% LED lights. Fuel-efficient heavy-duty truck specs include 11L and 13L engines governed at 68 mph and auxiliary power units on long-haul units. It recycles all oil, plus 80% of water from washing trucks.
St. Lous, Missouri
Anheuser-Busch is betting big on electric trucks, with a goal to convert its entire long-haul dedicated fleet to renewable power by 2025. It has ordered 800 of Nikola’s hydrogen-fuel-cell electric trucks and pre-ordered some Tesla electric trucks. Most recently it announced it will deploy 21 BYD battery-electric trucks in its California fleet as part of a state project to showcase sustainable warehousing and distribution technology.
Central Freight Lines
Central Freight Lines has been running compressed natural gas tractors since 2013. Out of its 1,600 vehicles and 1,250 heavy-duty trucks, 240 of its heavy-duty trucks and 10 of its 200 medium-duty are CNG. As part of a new initiative to increase the number of electric forklifts, Central has purchased 35 BYD electric forklifts for its new facility in Perris, California.
City of Long Beach
Long Beach, California
The City of Long Beach Fleet’s Green Fleet Program is focused on CNG and electric vehicles. The fleet is currently 42% alternative fuel, and its non-safety fleet is 60% alternative fuel. The 2020 replacement plan is 87% alternative fuel. The refuse and street sweeping fleet is being converted entirely to CNG. Renewable fuels are expected to make up 54% of the city’s overall fuel use in 2019, up from 48% in 2018.
City of Phoenix
More than 700 of Phoenix’s 800 heavy-duty trucks run on biodiesel, while 115 are CNG. In medium-duty, more than 200 are running on biodiesel and 62 on flex fuel. Its Fleet Sustainability Strategy focuses on making sure vehicles are the right size and type for the job. With the help of automatic vehicle tracking, Phoenix rerouted its reuse and recycle collection routes to use less fuel.
Contract Transport Services
Green Bay, Wisconsin
CTS has run 31 million miles with its CNG Fleet since 2013 and plans to replace its entire truck fleet with compressed natural gas by the end of 2019. A company executive sits on the Wisconsin Clean Cities board of directors. The company has started construction of onsite CNG fast- and slow-fill stations. Last winter, when temperatures reached 50 below zero, CNG enabled the fleet to continue delivering while most diesel fleets could not operate.
EVO Transportation & Energy Services
Sustainability is a core tenet for EVO, which in addition to being a transportation provider, operates five CNG fueling stations across the U.S. In addition to its current fleet of more than 80 dedicated CNG vehicles (out of a total 740, 389 of them heavy-duty), EVO is adding 90 vehicles to replace diesel-fueled rental vehicles.
FedEx is well along the path to its goal to increase FedEx Express vehicle fuel efficiency 50% from a 2005 baseline by 2025 (at 40% for fiscal year 2018), by upgrading the vehicle fleet, using alternative fuels, and improved routing, automation, and driver monitoring. FedEx also is teaming up with Ryder to deploy 1,000 Change Energy medium-duty electric panel vans throughout California over the next two years. FedEx added five new LEED-certified facilities in FY 2018.
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been operating on alternative fuels such as B20 biodiesel, e85 ethanol, propane, electric, and hybrid since 2009 when it made a commitment to reducing tailpipe and life cycle emissions in its fleet, which consists of 177 light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The Forest Preserve also recently constructed a new fleet maintenance facility built to LEED standards.
Frito-Lay has long been at the forefront of alternative fuels adoption, with one of the largest Class 6 delivery fleets powered by electricity and nearly 50% of over-the-road tractors powered by natural gas. Frito-Lay is replacing all diesel equipment at its Modesto, California, facilities with15 Tesla battery-electric tractors, six Peterbilt 220EV battery-electric box trucks, three BYD 8Y battery-electric yard tractors, 12 Crown battery-electric forklifts, and 38 Volvo tractors with low-NOx engines powered by renewable natural gas.
Hazmat Environmental Group
Buffalo, New York
In 2018, Hazmat Environmental Group replaced fluorescent lighting in offices and shops with LED lighting. Its last 109 tractors were spec’ed with wide-base single tires to improve fuel economy and cut weight, Espar heaters, auxiliary power units, and wind fairings, averaging 7.34 mpg fleetwide compared to the previous-spec tractors at 6.53. New van trailers are equipped with skirts, nose cones, and spray on liners. Replacing steel plating in its last 40 dry vans with Gatorhyde cut weight by 2,000 pounds.
J.B. Hunt says it is dedicated to creating a more sustainable supply chain for customers by innovating fleet operations, incorporating more electric trucks, reducing fuel usage, engineering greener technologies and creating individualized, green plans for customers. The team helps customers understand their carbon footprint related to J.B. Hunt services and develop a “Carbon Diet” to improve their sustainability. In late 2018, it added five Fuso eCanter all-electric medium-duty box trucks to its final-mile fleet.
Navajo has approached the issue of sustainability through the lens of freight efficiency — fewer trucks on the road means less CO2 emissions. With its Rocky Mountain Doubles and Super Set trailer combinations, Navajo can move the same amount of product for customers but reduce load count by up to 18%. The 700-truck fleet is also equipped with auxiliary power units and FlowBelow aero solutions, and Navajo has added a company idle percentage standard.
Camden, New Jersey
In its dedicated and drayage fleet of more than 4,000 vehicles, NFI operates electric trucks, near-zero-emissions CNG trucks, and electric yard tractors. It recently received its first battery-electric Freightliner eCascadia and will get electric Volvo trucks next year as part of the Volvo Lights program. Truck specs include low-rolling-resistance wide-based tires, battery-powered APUs, and aerodynamic options. In its distribution centers it uses electric and propane-powered forklifts and extensive recycling programs, with new construction built to meet LEED standards.
Old Dominion Freight Line
Thomasville, North Carolina
In 2018, ODFL invested $185.2 million to upgrade its fleet of nearly 10,000 vehicles, with low rolling resistance tires, trailer skirts, air dams and deflectors, as well as recycling everyday materials like oil, filters and scrap steel. It uses switchers instead of tractors to move trailers around the yard in service centers. Service center shops are converting to recycling water for drive-through truck washes. It is retrofitting service centers with LED lights and motion detectors to minimize electricity use.
Pitt Ohio, which provides less-than-truckload, truckload, and supply chain solutions, operates nearly 1,300 of its more than 1,400 trucks on biodiesel and 31 on compressed natural gas. A solar- and wind-powered microgrid at its Harmar, Pennsylvania, facility stores energy for use during night-time operations and has reduced electricity taken from the grid by more than 25%. Pitt Ohio is opening its second facility with a microgrid in 2019 in Parma, Ohio, with more than 1,500 solar panels and eight wind turbines.
Prime’s new EcoShred initiative repurposes expired and used tires into tire-derived fuel, tire-derived aggregate, mulch, pellets and powder. Its EcoTire program retreads and remolds used tires, with its EcoDrive proprietary tire tread design lowering rolling resistance. EcoFeatherweight tractors and trailers increase carrying capacity and reduce emissions through more efficient aerodynamics and weight distribution. Tires are automatically inflated to proper levels and use sensors to gather data. The company also recycles oil and uses auxiliary power units on all trucks.
Des Moines, Iowa
With 4,000 heavy-duty trucks, Ruan’s commitment to greener fuels has a big impact. It specs its trucks with with tire pressure monitoring and inflation systems, APUs, fuel-efficient powertrains and more. Ruan uses alternative fuels including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas, and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. Ruan has ordered five battery-electric-powered Class 8 trucks and has participated in multiple round-table discussions/conference calls for electric vehicle charging infrastructure strategies.
Sharco runs new 2017-2019 Class 8 tractors and constantly updates its 60-truck fleet to capitalize on new technology. Trucks are governed at 65 mph, and the company’s tire program, driver fuel bonus, and anti-idling in-cab technology all help with fuel economy. This year it replaced the roof on its 18,000-square-foot warehouse to reduce energy use and installed LED lighting and started using data analytics to reduce deadhead mileage and out-of-route fuel stops. Trailers are equipped with automatic tire pressure systems.
System Freight Inc.
Jamesburg, New Jersey
SFI offers dedicated contract transportation in the paper and packaging industry, operating short-haul day cabs in the Northeast. It specs the most fuel-efficient downsped integrated powertrains, with predictive cruise, collision mitigation, low-rolling-resistance tires, synthetic axle lube, and rear end gear oil management. Trucks are governed at 62 mph on the pedal and 65 mph in cruise control. Fleet fuel economy has climbed from 7.49 mpg in 2018 to 7.67 mpg in 2019. Wedge trailers and new fixed-axle dropdecks improve freight efficiency.
By 2025, UPS wants to cut emissions 12% across its global ground operations, sourcing 40% of fuel from sources other than conventional gasoline/diesel. Some of its latest projects include the largest purchase ever of renewable natural gas in the U.S., collaborating with Xos (formerly Thor Trucks) to test a fully electric Class 6 delivery truck in Los Angeles, collaborating with Workhorse Group to design a fleet of Class 5 electric delivery trucks from the ground up, and reserving 125 Tesla electric Semi tractors.
San Francisco, California
Sustainability is a deeply ingrained value at this organic produce distributor, and that extends to its 34 vehicles. It has adopted trailer side skirts, aerodynamic wheel covers, idle shutdown technology, and fuel-efficient tires with automatic tire inflation. Over half the fleet runs on renewable diesel. It is exploring solar power to extend the functionality of its electric APUs and a partnership to test electric trucks. Its facilities are equipped with a 560-panel solar array that offsets over 25% of its energy use.
Village of Arlington Heights
Arlington Heights, Illinois
One of the biggest municipalities in the state, the Village of Arlington Height’s Fleet Services Division maintains a fleet of 107 vehicles and 29 pieces of off-road equipment, operating 136 diesel vehicles and pieces of equipment on B20 biodiesel year-round. It uses synthetic oil to extend maintenance intervals and vehicle mpg, collects all waste oil for use in heating an auxiliary facility in the winter, and reduces the use of paper through digital maintenance logs and ordering procedures.
Village of Oak Park
Oak Park, Illinois
The Village of Oak Park’s Fleet Services Division maintains 236 vehicles, with 90 powered by alternative fuels and technologies. It operates 65 diesel vehicles on B20 biodiesel year-round, two on compressed natural gas, six battery-electric, one diesel-electric hybrid, and 19 gas-electric hybrids. It has installed LED lighting in the maintenance shop, and operates paperless systems for parts and supply orders, maintenance logs, and vehicle purchase specifications. Fleet Services operates out of the Public Works Center, built to LEED Gold standards.
Walmart has set a science-based target to reduce GHG emissions in its operations 18% by 2025 compared with 2015 levels. Part of that is maximizing the sustainability of its fleet. Its 2019 sustainability report says it has seen an 11% improvement in fuel efficiency of its U.S. fleet since achieving its 2005 goal of doubling the efficiency of the trucking fleet by 2015. It has been exploring the possibility for electrification in areas such as yard trucks, and it pre-ordered 45 Tesla electric Semis.