Mike Roeth road trip
Mike Roeth pauses on his cross-country road trip to refuel.

Not another Top 10 list

10 highlights from the help of NACFE to improve North American freight efficiency in 2018.

I am not a fan of the end of the year top 10 lists, hence the title of this last Roeth IdeaXchange for 2018.  But as I sat down to write this, I realized that NACFE turns 10 years old next year (and there’s that 10-mpg thing) … so, I couldn’t help it, here comes one more 2018 top 10 list.

Following are my 10 highlights from the year as NACFE helped the industry to improve the efficiency of North American goods movement.  I will share links to several of the blogs where we shared our thoughts on these very important moments.

  1. We entered 2018 on the heels of the November announcement of the Tesla Semi. As I stood on the upper level and watched the unveiling in Los Angeles, CA, it felt more like a rock concert than a trucking event, giving me the first of many insights that this industry was on the cusp of some great new technologies coming from some very interesting places.  Soon after we saw announcements on electric trucks from Cummins, Daimler, Thor and many others.
  2. In March, NACFE refreshed its look with a new logo, synchronized website and most important added another workstream to help guide future change. Also, the group released a detailed Run on Less report including a dataset of how the seven drivers with currently available technology did 10.1 mpg.
  3. The Roeths spent April and May crossing the country driving over 10,000 miles and shared some lessons learned about trucking in NA.
  4. Throughout 2018, we witnessed Shell’s Starship come to life and joined them on a cross-country demonstration showing efficiency at over 178 ton-miles per gallon.
  5. Electric trucks: Where they make sense was published in May and was the first Guidance Report from NACFE, concluding Commercial Battery Electric Vehicles are not a fad, but real and offering big benefits.
  6. A Confidence Report on Solar on Tractors and Trailers and the 7th Annual Fleet Fuel Study shared significant findings on the scaling of technologies at fleets continuing to improve efficiency.
  7. Workshops, presentations and exhibits continued at places like NPTC, ACT Expo, TMC and many others. In fact, NACFE led 55 such efforts in 2018. But you also saw or heard us on SiriusXM Road Dog radio, Shell Super Rigs, at DOE Clean Cities and State Trucking Association events hosted a Chinese trucking delegation at MATS, and many others.  It seemed like we were everywhere trucking was in 2018. 
  8. Growth of E-commerce and the opportunity with medium-duty electric trucks was shared in the second GR on electric trucks published as part of VERGE in October. A free total cost of ownership calculator monetizes many of the benefits and consequences of small electric trucks.
  9. Autonomous, connected and shared vehicles continued to dominate discussions in the industry and NACFE continued pragmatic thought leadership in these, likely disruptive technologies.
  10. Plans developed for 2019 – celebrating NACFE at 10 years, finishing the five-part series on electric trucks, conducting a second Run on Less, one on Regional freight and continuing what you have relied on from NACFE

So, there it is, my Ten Best of NACFE for 2018. Happy New Year, we are just getting started!

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