Sustainability in Trucking Top of Mind for Motor Carriers
A recent survey, “Sustainability in Trucking Snapshot Report: October 2022,” by Seattle-based digital freight network Convoy, found that sustainability in trucking is top of mind among motor freight carriers. At a time when diesel and gasoline prices have hit record-high prices, it stands to reason.
The survey was based on 588 small and mid-sized trucking companies that included dispatchers, drivers and owner-operators. The results of which included many data-based takeaways about sustainability in trucking.
The survey found that 34% of respondents indicated they feel pressure to reduce carbon emissions—which was down from 38% in March and closer to the 35% recorded on August 2021—with truck drivers, at 42%, being the most concerned, followed by dispatcher-driver, at 41%, and dispatcher, at 39%, with only 29% of owner-operators feeling pressure to reduce emissions.
The survey found that more awareness of their environmental impact at 20% was the main factor cited as the reason for reducing carbon emissions, which was closely followed by government regulation, at 18%, and reduce operating costs, at 16%, up 7% from March 2022, due to inflation remaining high and gas prices hovering around near-record highs. Nearly one quarter stated they currently feel no pressure to reduce carbon emissions, down from 29% recorded in March 2022 and August 2021.
Another key takeaway was related to the proposed SEC climate disclosure requiring that public owner-operators disclose information about their climate risks and emissions.
The question in the survey related to this topic— “Do you track or report the carbon emissions in your business operations today?”—found 38% of drivers are already tracking and reporting emissions, followed by dispatcher-drivers, at 28%, and owner-operators, at 19%.
What’s more, the survey observed that 46% of carriers are willing to provide fuel efficiency data of trucks to Convoy to track carbon emissions.
“Carriers who feel pressure to reduce carbon emissions are 50% more likely to be tracking or reporting carbon emissions,” said Convoy. “Furthermore, one in two respondents who said they feel pressure to reduce carbon emissions stated that they would be willing to provide fuel efficiency data to Conoy to understand their loads’ carbon emissions.”
That 50% statistic appears to be quite telling, with 82% of carriers indicating that fuel economy remains a leading concern throughout the industry, as it relates to deciding to purchase a new truck, down slightly from 82% in March 2022.
This comprehensive survey provides a lot of food for thought in the trucking sector when it comes to assessing the key issues, trends, and themes related to the intersection of trucking and sustainability, a topic that will only continue to gain steam as time goes on.