Mike Roeth is Executive Director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency and Operations Lead at the Carbon War Room. We talked to him about his goals as NACFE executive director, how technology is helping trucking companies save fuel, and more.
Q: How does the North American Council for Freight Efficiency help the trucking industry?
A: The NACFE seeks to improve the freight efficiency of North American goods movement by improving the quality of information flow and by highlighting successful adoption of technologies. Overall, we focus on freight as well as fuel efficiency through not only improving the miles per gallon of diesel, but by increasing the freight hauled in ton-miles per gallon or cubic ft-miles per gallon. Also, we seek to improve efficiency for whatever fuel is used, including liquefied and compressed natural gas.
Q: In 2012, NACFE partnered with the Carbon War Room, a Richard Branson startup, to bring www.truckingefficiency.org to the industry. Tell us about that.
A: It’s a comprehensive, unbiased and free technology guide for fleets and all end users to understand the confidence they should have in various fuel-saving technologies.
Q: As Executive Director of NACFE, what are your goals?
A: Success for me is helping all stakeholders improve their part of the process. Also, that applies to suppliers developing better products, truck and trailer builders integrating them, and fleets buying and operating them.
Q: What new fuel-saving tools on the market do you encourage fleets to take advantage of?
A: First are the technologies themselves, which can be investigated at www.truckingefficiency.org. We focus on Class 8 tractor trailers and have identified nearly 70 different solutions, technologies, that are currently available to save fuel or haul more freight. Another excellent tool is the EPA SmartWay program. Finally, I try and keep the industry informed on all kinds of things I see in the work I do. Each week I share some insights on Fleetowner.com.
Q: You have said that new technologies lead to $9,000 in fuel savings per truck annually.
A: Absolutely. In our annual fleet fuel study, 14 large fleets shared their adoption of these technologies and their year-over-year changes in the average fuel consumption for their fleet. They’ve improved the efficiency of their trucks from around 6.1 mpg to just under 7 mpg in 2014. We predict that had they not purchased these techs, they would have spent $9,000 more per truck on fuel in 2014. That’s huge. And considering that they run 53,000 trucks, these fleets alone saved $477 million!
Q: What more can trucking companies do in terms of fuel efficiency?
A: There’s plenty. More fleets can take advantage of these fuel-saving technologies, some of which can even be retrofitted onto older trucks. Also, I encourage everyone to look at our website and strongly consider an approach to save fuel. Other opportunities include simply slowing down on the road. For every 1 mph in speed reduced, you can save 0.1 mpg.
Q: What services does the Council provide that you would like to get the word out on?
A: Great question, I’ve mentioned the website, I’d also like to invite everyone to join one of our quarterly workshops. They’re great fun. We invite industry leaders to share their thoughts and then we spend about 2-3 hours in small group discussions debating the benefits and challenges of adoption. It’s a safe environment where suppliers, fleets and others come together to understand and share their experiences.
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