The best fuel efficiency depends on an intelligent balance of weight and size. To maximize the capacity of our trucks, we completed a year-long Truckload Utilization Project in 2007. What we found changed our truck-packing procedures forever and helped encourage changes within the industry as well.
By stepping back and taking time to look at the data, we realized that a truckload full of lightweight Ziploc® products weighs in far below a truck’s most efficient load target. Liquid products such as Windex® glass cleaner are heavy enough to reach maximum weight while leaving empty space in the trailer.
Armed with this knowledge, we created a system that combines multiple customer orders into one optimally configured truck. We also started using more “day cabs” – small truck cabs for one-day trips, which don’t require the extra weight of a big sleeping compartment. Day cabs are typically 3,000 pounds lighter than standard truck cabs.
By putting these practices to work, in a single 12-month period we eliminated 1,882 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent to making 90 two-person households carbon-neutral. We also used 2,098 fewer trucks and cut fuel use by 168,000 gallons.
Today, smart truckload utilization standards are just part of how we operate. They’ve become second nature, eliminating a significant amount of waste over the years.