EPA SmartWay Continues To Drive Success

Perdue, Kraft reduce idle time on their fleets, save millions of gallons of fuel.


Perdue uses a range of other strategies to save fuel. The company's trucks are equipped with engine shutdown devices that automatically turn off the engine after it idles for eight minutes. Perdue also limits the speed of its trucks to 66 mph and pays its drivers a bonus for achieving higher fuel economy.

Perdue used the FLEET (Freight Logistics Environmental and Energy Tracking) com-puter model supplied by the EPA to calculate its greenhouse gas emission reductions due to the various fuel-saving initiatives. This model is available to all SmartWay Partners to monitor fuel and environmental performance.

Kraft Foods

Kraft Foods Global Inc., a carrier partner since 2006 with a fleet of more than 250 trucks, has implemented numerous innovative strategies to save fuel. Since joining SmartWay, Kraft, based in Northfield, IL, has recognized opportunities to save more fuel and operate a greener fleet. It is planning to implement many more strategies in the coming years as part of its commitment to the partnership.

Kraft uses engine shutdown with a five-minute threshold on all of its trucks. Many are equipped with EZ Pass or PrePass, reducing idling by avoiding many toll lines and weigh stations. Kraft saved more than 63,000 gallons of fuel in 2005 for its combined idle-reduction efforts. The company's work to save fuel from freight transportation improvements translates to over 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions reduced each year.

Al Jankauskas, Kraft's associate director of logistics operations, says SmartWay fits eas-ily into Kraft's transportation operations.

"The organization has embraced the SmartWay Transport Partnership," he says. "We have been quite pleased with how it has helped to energize process changes and decision-making that will facilitate sustainability across logistics operations. SmartWay has helped us to consider transportation improvements in efficiency while delivering a heightened awareness of the environment."

Refusing to rest on its achievements, Kraft continues to strive to improve its fleet efficiency. It is now planning to install APUs on all of its new trucks starting this year. Jankauskas estimates that Kraft's fleet will have almost 200 trucks with APUs in just a few short years. Kraft has calculated the cost of each APU would be recouped in about two-and-a-half years, based on average 2006 fuel prices. If fuel prices rise, Kraft will recoup its APU outlays even faster.

Additionally, Kraft is testing nitrogen-filled tires at one location and a cetane fuel additive at a second. Jankauskas said all trucks should be operating with these technologies by the end of this year. Kraft is also replacing its regular dual tires with low-rolling resistance tires at the typical 100,000-mile intervals. Kraft will continually track the fuel savings and emissions reductions of these technologies to understand their cost-effectiveness and will adjust its strategies accordingly.

"We know that the new requirements for [ultra-low-sulfur diesel] and the 2007 engines may highlight a slight fuel economy hit," Jankauskas says. "We also anticipate that rising fuel costs will continue to be a concern across the industry. However, based on the projections from the computer model provided by EPA and the initial results, we are confident that our investments in new technologies like auxiliary power units will have a reasonable payback. Technologies that deliver reductions in idle time and fuel efficiency cannot be overlooked."

He adds, "The SmartWay Transport Partnership provides a forum for benchmarking and understanding the true benefits of sustainability initiatives. In almost all cases, these initiatives are also delivering financial savings to the organization."

Conclusion

These are only two examples of food companies saving significant amounts of fuel-and thus improving their bottom lines-through the SmartWay Transport Partnership. EPA's FLEET computer models help partners track their fuel use and monitor the environmental impact of their freight transportation operations.

SmartWay Partners can even project the fuel savings of these technologies to estimate the return on their investments.

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