With fuel being such a large and volatile part of every carrier’s costs, can there be any better strategy than striving towards the best fuel efficiency your fleet can reasonably attain? What if pursuing such a strategy also helped your fleet stand out from the more than 10,000 for-hire carriers currently doing business in Canada, potentially opening doors to new accounts?
Those are the opportunities presented by the arrival of SmartWay into Canada for carriers progressive enough to grasp them.
Originally launched by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 2004, SmartWay is now administered in Canada by Natural Resources Canada. It works by linking shippers with an interest in greening their supply chains with SmartWay-recognized fuel-efficient carriers.
I’m taking part in a national information tour launched this spring by Natural Resources Canada and Supply Chain and Logistics Association Canada. The tour, which has already touched down in Vancouver and Toronto, aside from providing a great deal of information about what it takes to be part of SmartWay, also lets you hear first hand from a panel of stakeholders who are already part of program.
There are more than 3,000 shippers, logistics companies and freight carriers currently in SmartWay, including almost 300 Canadian companies. There are large purchasers of transportation services for whom being part of SmartWay is becoming key to getting their freight, and that trend will grow. Consider what David Patterson, director of transportation management at Ryder, and one of the participants on my stakeholder panel, had to say. Ryder, one of the continent’s largest purchasers of transportation services , has been part of SmartWay since 2004 and promoted the program to its clients. Ryder managed 1.6 billion miles in 2011, the most recent full year of data. The 499 SmartWay carriers doing business with Ryder averaged 2,867,773 annual miles with the 3PL. The non-SmartWay carriers averaged less than 123,000 annual miles. In fact, a staggering 91% of all freight miles managed by Ryder are now contracted with SmartWay carriers.
Tammy White, business development executive at XTL, was also part of my panel at the Toronto session and what she shared about XTL’s savings was impressive. Prior to 2011, XTL’s reefers were on manual start/ stop and basically ran constantly. Last year the company invested in Intelliset technology, which provides programmable start/stop on each unit at various temperature intervals. By doing so it reduced 150 hours of use per unit per year and cut its energy costs 36% per unit per year. In another fuel saving initiative, it reduced its acceptable idling time for its tractors to five minutes. With the cost of idling a tractor calculated at $4.50/gallon, the potential savings in fuel could amount to $50,000 per year if drivers are properly educated and the program is properly controlled. And those are just two of several fuel saving projects at XTL
The next sessions are scheduled for May 30 in Winnipeg, followed by Cornwall June 4th and Calgary, June 6th. They are worth your time. For more information go to: www.SmartWay.nrcan.gc.ca
With more than 25 years of experience reporting on transportation issues, Lou is one of the more recognizable personalities in the industry. An award-winning writer well known for his insightful writing and meticulous market analysis, he is a leading authority on industry trends and statistics. All posts by Lou Smyrlis