Energy efficiency

Feb. 1, 2006
THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging tank truck carriers to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership in order to improve transportation

THE ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) is encouraging tank truck carriers to join the SmartWay Transport Partnership in order to improve transportation environmental concerns and increase their operation efficiency.

The SmartWay Partnership is a voluntary collaboration between EPA and the freight transport industry designed to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution, said Dick Kridler of EPA at the NTTC 2005 Cargo Tank Maintenance Seminar held November 7-9.

By 2012, the initiative aims to reduce between 33 million and 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions per year, Kridler said.

He estimated that today there are 350 million tons of CO2 released along highways, and that amount is expected to increase.

There are three primary components of the SmartWay Partnership: creating partnerships, reducing all unnecessary engine idling, and increasing the efficiency and use of rail and intermodal operations.

In his remarks in Louisville, Kridler focused on the effort to eliminate unnecessary truck and rail idling by developing a nationwide network of idle-reduction options along major transportation corridors — truck stops, travel centers, distribution hubs, rail switch yards, borders, ports, and even along the side of the road.

Some environmental partnership goals are advancing development of low viscosity lubricants, reducing vehicle weight, initiating speed control and automatic tire inflation, increasing driver training, and improving vehicle aerodynamics.

EPA welcomes any company or organization that will improve the environmental performance of its operations. Key partners are companies that ship products and the truck and rail companies that deliver these products.

Carriers that choose to join the partnership learn about adopting fuel-saving strategies that increase profits and reduce emissions — a win-win opportunity for all, he added.

In addition, as a SmartWay Transport Partner, a carrier becomes recognized as a preferred carrier by the partners on the shipper side. As a result, shippers know that the fleet is committed to becoming cleaner and leaner than fleets that are not in the partnership, which may encourage them to ship their products with the member carrier.

EPA provides partners with benefits and services that include fleet management tools, technical support, information, public recognition, and for exceptional environmental performers, use of the SmartWay Transport Partner logo.

Partners commit to measure and improve the efficiency of their freight operations, using EPA-developed tools that quantify the benefits of a number of fuel-saving strategies.

The Freight Logistics Environmental and Energy Tracking Fleet Performance Model allows a company to quantify the environmental performance of their fleet operations.

Users input the number of trucks in the fleet, gallons of fuel consumed, and mileage accumulated into the model, and it expresses the company's environmental performance for CO2, NOx, and particulate matter (PM) emissions in terms of:

  • Total tons of emissions.
  • Tons of emissions/truck.
  • Grams of emissions/mile.
  • Grams of emissions/ton-mile.
  • Custom metrics defined by the company.

Additionally, the FLEET Performance Model evaluates the effectiveness of innovative fuel-saving and emission-reduction strategies that companies have integrated into their fleet operations. This feature quantifies the amounts of fuel saved and CO2, NOx, and PM emissions that have been eliminated, which provides companies a sense of how efficient their fleet operations are.

Companies also can use this feature to project the effectiveness of adding innovative strategies into their fleets in the future.

More information is available at the EPA web site at, or e-mail Kridler at [email protected].