Transport Trucking and the Fuel Dilemma

Teresa Madaleno

We can never underestimate the value of the transportation industry to a nation like Canada or the United States. In Canada for example, there are great distances between farms, factories, forests, mines and urban areas so transport systems are essential. Without them the economy would be in real trouble. Natural and manufactured goods have to move through domestic and international markets.

In the north trucks transport logs, in urban areas larger trucks deliver vehicles and all kinds of consumer goods. Almost everything we eat or wear has made some sort of journey by transport truck. In the United States trucking dominates the commercial transportation industry, bringing in annual revenues of at least 650 billion dollars annually. That’s about 5 percent of America’s GDP.

We need truckers. According to the American Trucking Association people aren’t drawn to the job anymore. Fewer young people want to drive and fewer want to own fleets. Long hours on the road and high operation costs are scaring people away.

As existing fleet owners work on incentive programs to attract new drivers, they turn to innovators to help them with their day-to-day operations. Industry experts say one of the top concerns among drivers and owners is fuel consumption. The cost of gas and diesel has an impact on every decision a driver and fleet owner make. In many cases, the fuel bill can mean the difference between operating as usual or going out of business.

Paul Makee has been a long-haul driver for over 20 years and says fuel doesn’t only impact driving. “Saving fuel is not only good for the transport company and for the environment, it can decrease the cost of products. Its all a domino effect,” Makee recently stated.

Some fleet owners can afford to invest in new, more efficient vehicles, but that isn’t an option for everyone. The majority have to turn to new, less expensive options including, logistics management tools and fuel efficiency systems. Advanced technology is now making it possible for companies on the brink of collapse to rebound and become competitive once again. The transportation industry is an example of this. Today, truckers can save time, money and reduce their carbon footprint all at the same time simply by applying the right systems.

“I have seen an interesting shift. Not long ago people in my industry were afraid of change, but now they are excited about the possibilities due to the technology revolution,” Makee said.

For many North American transport companies adopting new products and systems to optimize performance has become standard practice. They see alternative-fuel solutions as a long-term solution to fuel price volatility, as well as an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions.