Eco-Friendly Trucking Companies

Top Ten Eco-Friendly Trucking Companies

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted January 17, 2012

Numerous trucking companies in the United States and around the globe are starting to “go green.” Rather than just a fad, they see it as a new, sustainable way of life. As customers begin to increase their awareness on all green-related issues, they are going to look for trucking companies that follow in line with their beliefs in creating a better, more sustainable environment. Today, many trucking companies are starting to implement a wide variety of sustainable practices that allow them to become less dependent on fossil fuels, thereby reducing their carbon footprint as they drive from one location to another. The switch to renewable energy and energy efficient measures not only saves them a few dollars, but it also saves the environment as well.

1 ) United Parcel Service is known worldwide, not just for their shipping but also for the variety of environmental initiatives. UPS has over 2,200 alternative fuel vehicles, which is the largest fleet in the industry. UPS also provides the opportunity to allow customers to make the switch to paperless billing and invoices. Since 2000, UPS has recycled more than 24 million points of used electronic equipment.

2 ) J.B. Hunt announced in August of 2011 that it was named one of the top 75 Green Supply Chain Partners by Inbound Logistics. It received this recognition for the number of green initiatives the trucking company has done to remain environmentally sustainable. COO of J.B. Hunt, Craig Harper, said “We are committed to delivering the safe, sustainable, and cost-effective transportation solutions our customers need, and we are honored to be included in this list of like-minded service providers.” J.B. Hunt has been able to improve overall fuel efficiency, lower transportation costs, and lower carbon emissions by approximately 50 percent as compared to the traditional truckload. The Green Fleet is dedicated to reducing emissions and the Hunt Carbon Diet improves energy efficiency while also lowering transportation costs.

3 ) United Van Lines is the largest moving company in Canada, and has won a number of awards, including the 2009/2010 Award from Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies. As United Van Lines has more than 200 locations throughout the entire country, the company has realized the large role it plays in maintaining the Canadian environment. Some of the green initiatives include using reusable quilted furniture pads and floor runners, recycling tires and cartons, having regular scheduled trailer and truck maintenance to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and looking to become a paperless company.

4 ) Swift Transportation is a top trucking company throughout the United States offering a variety of solutions, including heavy haul, flat bed, container, dry van, intermodal, and temperature controlled. Swift is a participant in the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership as it is dedicated to creating a better future using green technologies. The company uses all the latest technologies to decrease their carbon footprint using their Clean Fleet and all new trucks and trailers are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

5 ) Penske Logistics was named, in 2010, a Green 50 Supply Chain Partner by Inbound Logistics due to the numerous approaches taken to lower the trucking company’s miles per gallon performance as well as reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its fleet of trucks. Penske is also a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. Penske always looks for optimized routes that will increase fuel efficiency. The trucking company is also involved with a number of recycling and green lighting programs.

6 ) Atlas Van Lines is one of the premier residential and commercial moving truck companies around the United States. Because of the many short and long distance moves Atlas Van Lines does, they are always looking to conserve energy, reduce waste, and other things to protect the environment. For example, all trucks are equipped with on-board information systems that help truck drivers become more efficient with their fuel. Atlas has earned a lot of recognition for the company’s environmental stewardship, such as the John Biasini Award given by the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana.

7 ) FedEx, since 2000, has teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund to ensure their standard trucks remained environmentally friendly. FedEx for many years has continued to look for ways to make their fleet operations even more efficient than they already are. The work FedEx does with the Environmental Defense Fund helps to improve the company’s overall environmental performance, increase the market share for clean delivery vehicles, and maintain/improve operational performance. FedEx has continually looked to encourage other trucking companies to develop and purchase clean-technology trucks. Currently, FedEx has over 250 hybrid-electric delivery trucks.

8 ) DHL is one of the leading logistics companies around the globe. The trucking company recently introduced a brand new convoy of delivery trucks that are environmentally friendly throughout Manhattan, New York as a major step in the company’s green initiative. Frank Appel, the CEO of DHL said, “As customers worldwide are increasingly demanding greener logistics, sustainable business procedures, and initiatives…[it will not only foster climate protection to save our environment for future generations but] also enhance the profitability of our business.” DHL has done similar projects throughout Latin America.

9 ) YRC Worldwide is one of the largest trucking services throughout the world, offering local, regional, national, and even international capabilities. They do a lot with heavyweight shipments and flexible supply chain solutions. YRC Worldwide takes the environment seriously. It is a previous winner of the SmartWay Environmental Excellence Award. The company’s Destination Green program aids them in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, gallons per mile, and empty miles. They are currently testing two diesel electric hybrids in the trucking fleet, which will be used for pickups and deliveries in metropolitan areas.

10 ) C&K Trucking, one of the largest intermodal trucking companies in the United States, takes a lot of pride in making the environment one of the trucking company’s top priorities. C&K Trucking works with the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transportation Program and has one of the highest ratings of all trucking companies. C&K Trucking has maintained focus on efficiencies and technologies that will aid in reducing their miles per gallon, thereby reducing their total carbon dioxide emissions. The company has installed software on trucks to measure efficiency metrics, retrofitted trucks, and created new speed management policies.

Article by Shawn Lesser, Co-founder & Managing Partner of Atlanta-based Watershed Capital Group – an investment bank assisting sustainable fund and companies raise capital, perform acquisitions, and in other strategic financial decisions. He is also a Co-founder of the GCCA Global Cleantech Cluster Association ”The Global Voice of Cleantech”. He writes for various cleantech publications and is known as the David Letterman of Cleantech for his “Top 10″ series. He can be reached at