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You may see some transportation companies – motor carriers, freight brokers, shippers – display the “SmartWay” logo on their trucks, websites, and materials showing their participation in SmartWay traffic guidelines. These SmartWay Transport Partnership businesses are leading the world in reducing the transportation industry’s impact on the quality of the air we breathe. To better understand what this SmartWay certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency means to trucking, let’s look at its background, starting with the trucking industry’s projected growth and air pollution.

The freight industry is growing fast – and shows no signs of slowing down. Between 1990 and 2013, freight activity grew by over 50 percent. By 2040, it is projected to nearly double again.  By 2050, emissions from global freight transport are expected to exceed surpass passenger vehicle emissions.

In the United States in 2015, an average of more than 49.5 million tons of freight are moved every day of the year. That breaks down to about 56 tons of freight per U.S. resident a year. This large volume of freight has effects on air pollution, which contributes to smog and poor air quality. When chemists break down what is in the air around us, the air pollution emitted from transportation accounts for 20% of the country’s particulate matter (inhalable soot, smoke, chemicals, etc.) in the air; 30% of volatile organic compounds (gases of chemicals including bromine, carbon, chlorine, fluorine, and other elements), and more than 50% of country’s total nitrogen oxide emissions (greenhouse gases that damage the ozone layer that protects the world from harmful UV sun rays).

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership helps shippers, logistics companies, and motor carriers measure, benchmark and improve their environmental performance. At no cost to these businesses, the SmartWay program can help companies make choices that reduce emissions. Companies can better evaluate and streamline their operations to use less fuel and generate less air pollution. With SmartWay traffic recommendations, they can also save money on diesel at the same time they reduce emissions.

The EPA’s SmartWay certification program is a voluntary public-private program that was launched in 2004 to meet a number of key goals. One of them is to help shippers identify and select more efficient freight carriers, equipment, and processes that will lower freight costs and use advanced fuel-saving technologies to help reduce transport-related air pollution.

Another way to reduce motor carriers’ costs is to stay loaded on all routes and avoid empty back hauls. To stay loaded, try the world’s largest free freight matching service, Search for loads and select the ones that fit your routes today.

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