- THE MAGAZINE
As customers continue to be more aligned with the carbon footprint throughout their supply chain, transportation companies have been incorporating sustainable business practices into daily operations. These both help to protect the environment and drive efficiency and cost savings. As green features become increasingly popular, the trucking industry can come to expect many new sustainable trends, including the following top five trends:
1. Fuel Economy — Fuel economy is the number one driving factor for reducing green house gas emissions. As such, Southeastern is testing and implementing the use of fuel saving strategies and processes to maximize this opportunity. We are implementing the addition of aerodynamic devices on all of our logistic line haul trailers this year after testing and proving the results of the devices in our fleet. Opportunities like this will have the largest impact in our sustainability efforts.
2. Driver Training — Keeping your drivers consistently updated on the latest technology and trends is of utmost importance, especially when it comes to improving sustainability. After all, 35 percent of fuel economy is accounted for by drivers. Southeastern’s driver training has delivered many beneficial results such as successfully reducing idle time by 45 percent on pickup and delivery trucks.
3. Facility Lighting — After tackling the sustainability measures that make the most difference for the fleet, owners will next start to look at its facilities. Eco-friendly lighting, such as energy efficient fluorescent fixtures, can be implemented to boost sustainability to the next level in operating facilities and workplace environments.
4. Facility Heating & Cooling — Additionally, by updating facilities to include more efficient heating and cooling equipment, companies will benefit from increased energy and water conservation.
5. Whole Package Approach — Instead of utilizing sustainability features only as they become available, trucking companies will soon begin to look at sustainability as a whole package. This includes everything from the company fleet to operating centers, focusing on ways to meet customer demands of continuous improvements of sustainability practices.
Southeastern has adopted this approach with its new facilities. For instance, Southeastern’s new South Houston service center conserves energy in various aspects including motion detectors, a two-acre solar panel field that will generate one-third of the center’s power and the placement of windows to expose natural light. The service center also uses a 10,000-gallon cistern for irrigation purposes from rainwater to conserve water.
While sustainable practices should be implemented to help to protect the environment, there is more to be gained by using eco-friendly solutions. Companies in the transportation and logistics industries that utilize green features also see an enhanced quality of business. How have sustainable features improved your business and what trends do you see around the corner?