This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

February 25, 2004

EPA Launches Partnership for Energy-Efficient Freight

The SmartWay Transport Partnership logo

EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership logo.

If you've bought a product online recently, you may have paused along the way to think about the energy used to ship your product to you. Of course, nearly everything we buy involves shipping, and whether it comes by truck or by rail, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to improve energy efficiency of that freight, cutting air emissions along the way. EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership, unveiled early in February, is a collaborative voluntary program between EPA and the freight industry that aims to improve the energy efficiency of freight through such actions as the better use of rail and the elimination of unnecessary idling of trucks and locomotives. The partnership was started more than a year ago by 15 charter partners, including both major users of shipping—companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises, Nike, and Home Depot—and by major shippers such as FedEx Express and UPS.

At the unveiling, EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt welcomed 37 new partners, each of which has committed to measure and improve the efficiency of their freight operations. EPA estimates that the partnership will save 150 million barrels of oil each year by 2012. See the EPA press release or go directly to the SmartWay Transport Partnership Web site.

UPS, which is one of the partners, set a goal last November of increasing its fuel efficiency by 3 percent by 2007. In 2002, UPS burned 0.1038 gallons of fuel per delivered package; the company aims to reduce that to 0.1008 gallons per package by 2007. See the UPS press release.