LAS VEGAS – The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport partnership is beginning to step up its efforts to broaden its appeal to shippers and small trucking companies.
“The issue for us is getting the word out about SmartWay, both to the general public and transportation community, but in particular to these two groups,” said an EPA official who spoke to Fleet Owner at The Truck Show here on condition of anonymity. “Up until now, most of the interest we’ve been getting is from large carriers: now we want to get our footing with shippers and small carriers.”
The SmartWay program is a voluntary public-private effort to reduce both air pollution and fuel consumption from ground freight transportation providers – especially truckers, which haul 85% of the total value of all cargo shipped in the U.S., or 66% of all freight when tallied by weight.
EPA allows truckers to join SmartWay after they offer plans to reduce air pollution and fuel use via strategies such as reducing engine idling, using more efficient routes, etc. and then have those efforts validated by the EPA’s in-house models. Shippers are encouraged to use only SmartWay-approved carriers, thus giving SmartWay truckers a competitive advantage.
“Only a dozen or so shippers are involved now, but they are big ones: Nike, Coca-Cola, Ikea, etc.,” the official said. “We are also encouraging small fleets and even owner-operators to join because we think that’s where some of the largest pollution reductions can be gained – they operate older rigs for the most part and haul a large chunk of the truck freight in the U.S.”