Shippers have reached the “tipping point” in their effort to encourage trucking companies to reduce emissions and conserve fuel, a Swift Transportation vice president said Thursday.
Some shippers only want to use Smartway carriers, participants of a federal program encouraging energy-efficient and low-emission transportation, while others “say they want a certain percent,” Dave Berry.
“I think we’re reached the tipping point when people start deciding to get on board,” Berry told U.S. Freight Sustainability Summit attendees.
Diesel engine manufacturers are making greater strides in reducing emissions, said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. He said engines built in 2011 are 5 percent to 7 percent more fuel-efficient than they were a year ago.
“If you’re a fleet buyer, you’re looking at a marketplace that’s going to be offering you technology that’s better,” Schaeffer said. “It’s better for your bottom line, better for the environment, it’s better for saving fuel.”
Perry said the advancements in technology mean that progress in fuel efficiency will depend more on the use of trucks, rather than the truck itself. “Optimization is our next frontier,” he said.