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Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


5/15/2019 Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs 1 Fr eigh t P ollu on
5/15/2019 Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs 1 Fr eigh t P ollu on

Freight Pollu on





Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs



Table of Contents

Industry Brief & Trends


Chemistry of Freight Pollu ons Primary Eects


Environmental Influences within Freight Shipping


Industry Prac ces and Challenges


Company’s Response & Smartway


Freight Pollu on Regula ons





Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs



Freight shipping has been developing at a rapid rate throughout its existence. Freight

transportation has been around since the beginning of the 1600’s in America. Technically

speaking globally, we have been dabbling in freight shipping since the beginning of time. We

have evolved from horse drawn carriages and steam boats to the freight industry we know today

containing trucks, barges, railroads, pipelines and planes. In the 1940’s logistics first focused on

mechanization to improve labor intensive work. Mechanization focused on processes,

electrification, and the rise of robots implemented within these processes to make them faster

and more efficient. After the inventory and demand from these processes grew, so did the

demand for increased transportation dependence. This is where the evolution of freight

transportation excelled. In the 1950’s supply chain management’s focus transitioned to

transportation management. This led us to the ability to grow within globalization which is what

we know the supply chain industry for today.

Types of Freight Shipping

Freight shipping is a fragmented market with 45% of revenues coming from the top

50 companies in this industry. (Zaks Investment) “The freight shipping service industry includes

about 17,000 companies with combined annual revenue of $34 billion” (CH Robinson). Some

top players include Estes Express Lines, Old Dominion Freight Line, UPS Freight, YRC

Regional and FedEx Freight. The focus of these companies is to create a valued service through

their competitive advantage, efficient operations, and relationships built with customers to ensure


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


a profitable endeavor. There are many ways to go about the way in which a company will create

and manage these relationships. The most popular forms being Third Party Logistics companies

including full integration (if outsourced), freight forwarding, custom brokers, and freight


Many people interchange freight forwarding and 3PL’s however the methods behind

these two follow a completely different order of operations. With 3PL’s, the outside company

itself is doing the entire workload from coordinating shipments to driving it there themselves.

This differs from freight forwarders because they are a type of 3PL whom only handles the

tracking and coordination within shipments and work with outside companies to transport the

product. The difference here can be compared to asset based and non­asset based 3PL’s, one

owns the equipment to move your product, the other finds the equipment to do so. However,

companies can prove to do both functions, DHL has proven to have different branches

specialized in each of these 3PL methods. Freight brokers serve to play the matchmaker in

finding shippers for carriers and vice versa. Custom brokers are “responsible for knowing all of

the relevant rules and regulations from the point of origin through to the destination and ensuring

compliance” (book), the babysitters so to speak. Finally, those that are fully integrated and have

the control, technique, and competitive advantage to carry out the entire business transaction

from start to finish having full control of the process while embracing any downfalls they may

face. It is important to know the different methods within the freight shipping industry so you

can truly understand the clientele and how to meet market demand.

Market Demand


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Freight shipping is a derived demand that comes from the need to move product for

economic functions. This is determined by domestic manufacturing outputs and international

trade demanded. This proves to be a growing industry. In October 2018, shipping volumes

increased by 6.2% while expenditures on transportation increased by 12%.

“Simply stated, when

shipment volume is up 6.2 percent, it is the result of an expanding economy,” Donald Broughton,

analyst and commentator for the Cassindices. (joc)

In the economy we live in today where

unemployment is at its lowest, incomes are rising, and the reliance on e­commerce is high,

people are spending more money and with that comes an increase in demand. Because demands

for these services are rising so are the costs to deliver making this a volatile market. In 2018,

freight shipping costs were projected to increase by 30% (Bloomberg). With this in mind paired

with recent inclinations of imposed tariff increases, we can see why demand of freight shipping

is increasing. Due to this volatile market big data is becoming more popular in helping

companies anticipate changes that may occur over time. Not only is this becoming popular to

help forecast changes in demand, but which mode companies should use based on costs, market

share, and capabilities.

Industry Trends

Right now, in this booming industry there are many trends taking place. These trends

range from the damage this industry is causing to the environment and their social responsibility

to eliminate this hindrance toward the quality of life, technological advances through

electrification and modes/fuels used to transport material, operational shortages companies are

struggling with, and imposed tariffs and changing regulations that affect the cost of this process.

As history has shown, we continue to improve ourselves through evolution. The entirety of this


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


paper will go into further detail of freight pollution starting with the chemistry behind freight

pollution, the different types of freight pollution, primary and secondary impacts that follow,

industry practices and challenges, what companies are doing to change this, and regulations

implemented within freight shipping.


Effects of Nitrous Oxide (N 2 O)

The ozone layer is vital to all life on Earth for plants, animals, bacteria, and us humans.

Ozone has an amazing quality of being able to block most UV radiation that enters our

atmosphere from the sun. During the 1970s and 80s, compounds called chlorofluorocarbons were

used in industry along with household appliances due to their great ability abilities as

refrigerants. Once entered into the atmosphere, these compounds react with ozone and remove

the third oxygen creating O 2 . Since chlorofluorocarbons were outlawed in the Montreal Protocol

in 1987, the decomposition of the ozone layer today is mainly contributed to the decomposition

of N 2 O coming for combustion byproducts of transportation and industrial practices. (7)

In today’s transportation processes, one of the fewest but most dangerous chemicals

released is Nitrous Oxide (N 2 O). This chemical is released once combusted in gasoline and

diesel engines and is released at the ground level onto the Earth. Due to buoyancy forces of gases

present in our atmosphere and changing wind currents, this nitrous compound gets swept up into

the atmosphere where it rests in the stratosphere. Once in this layer of the atmosphere, it is then

broken down into N 2 and O by photolysis by Ultra Violet (UV) light. From there is reacts with

oxygen radicals which are high energy atoms needing one extra electron that will rip a spare

electron from whichever atom it comes into contact with first. After this it forms N 2 and O 2 and


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then into 2NO. Since nitrogen prefers to form three bonds total with other molecules, the

compound picks up an extra nitrogen atom from the atmosphere since the air on our planet is

composed on seventy­nine percent oxygen. Once this happens, diatomic nitrogen N 2 forms

leaving the Oxygen radical free in the atmosphere. This radical then attacks ozone molecules

(O 3 ) and forms 2O 2 . (13) (14)

The following is the series of reactions that occurs when Nitrous Oxide is decomposed by UV radiation:



and reaction with O(1D) (oxygen radical)



And finally:



Acid Rain from Automobiles

When organic compounds are combusted in an engine, the general byproducts are water

and carbon dioxide. This is true for all general combustion reactions except in the case when the

reaction is not hot enough to burn to completion or there are impurities present in the fuel. This

incomplete combustion causes carbon monoxide (CO) to form, along with any compounds

formed from sulfur and nitrogen present in the fuel. These cause sulfur dioxides (SO 2 ) and

nitrogen dioxides (NO 2 ) to form. The basic reactions that form these oxides are as follows:










Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs










Once these combustion problems have formed, they can then react with hydroxyl radicals

(OH­) and hydrogen (H+) present in the atmosphere that are left behind from water vapor being

decomposed due to any number of pollutants in the air. Once they come into contact with these

other atoms, they can form hydrosulfuric acid and nitric acid in vapor form. The compounds are

then swept around by air currents where they are taken to colder climates and condense into

liquid form with other water particles, creating acid rain. Acid rain is devastating to the

environment as it kills plants, harms wildlife, erodes roadways, and even dissolves stone

buildings as the compounds present in the rocks chemically reacts with the acid rain. (6) The

following is the chemical reaction of sulfuric and nitric acid as it forms in the atmosphere:

of sulfuric and nitric acid as it forms in the atmosphere: 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4
of sulfuric and nitric acid as it forms in the atmosphere: 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4
of sulfuric and nitric acid as it forms in the atmosphere: 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4
of sulfuric and nitric acid as it forms in the atmosphere: 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4






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Ocean Acidification/Thermal Pollution


As more and more CO 2 enters the atmosphere from combustion engines such as

gasoline/diesel trucks, airplanes, or ocean tankers, the warmer the planet becomes. This is due to

the fact that CO 2 is a greenhouse gas. The definition of a greenhouse gas means that once the gas

enters the atmosphere, it traps solar

radiation by day and holds it on earth by

night. In an ideal world, this process should

be even; the amount of solar radiation

absorbed during the day should be equal to

the amount of solar radiation released

should be equal to the amount of solar radiation released during the night. Since the Earth

during the night. Since the Earth is spinning and is constantly one half light and the other dark,

this absorption/radiation process is continuous. But due to these increased levels of greenhouse

gases, this radiation is kept on Earth and the global temperature fluctuates. (15)

This global fluctuations of temperature affects all life here on this planet. While we are

currently in the middle of a warming period since the last Ice Age (and there is not normally

supposed to be ice on the polar caps based on the planet’s geological history) (16) the Arctic and

Antarctic ice are melting at an alarming rate. This not only is dangerous to animals that require

the ice to live, this also raises the sea level around the planet as ice is deposited into the ocean

and then melts. But the biggest problem with global temperature increase is not the ice caps; it is

the acidification of the ocean from the increase of in CO 2 dissolved in ocean water that threatens

us all.

When excess CO 2 is exhausted over land and into the atmosphere, it makes its way to the


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


oceans through air currents. When CO 2 comes in contact with the ocean, it diffuses into the

water the same way oxygen does in a pond or in a glass of water. The only difference is that the

ocean is filled with carbonate ions (CO 3 2­ ) that are present in the water. These ions are extremely

import to marine life as adolescent creatures use these ions along with calcium to form the

building blocks of their shells. (11) When excess CO 2 binds with these carbonate atoms and

water, it decomposes H 2 O into 2H + and one O 2­ atoms. The CO 2 then combines with the excess

hydrogen and carbonate atoms present in the water to form bicarbonate (HCO 3 ­ ) releasing

oxygen into the water/atmosphere and leaving one H + present in the water. This excess hydrogen

atoms and the bicarbonate molecules are what cause solutions to become acidic as acids are

protons (H + ) donors. This decrease of ocean pH (lower pH = higher acidity) is also contributed

to the bleaching of coral reefs, killing millions of corals and sponges that act as safe havens and

feeding areas for entire ecosystems of small organisms. With the ever increasing amount of CO 2

being produced from freight transportation, the ocean becomes more and more acidic everyday.


The increase in global greenhouse gases is also the main contributor to the shift in global

weather patterns, especially ones such El Niño and La Niña. El Niño is a catastrophic weather

occurence that takes place when normal equator ocean temperatures are higher than the yearly

average. Trade winds in the Pacific Ocean push warm water from South America towards Asia

and Australia creating the normal weather patterns. But with the temperature increase in ocean

water and in atmospheric air, along with the breakdown of trade winds, the shift of weather

patterns from South American and creates abnormal rainfall in Asian and Australia. This rainfall

causes flooding, crop damage, air quality issues, and even an increased risk of wildfires. (9)


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La Niña takes place in the years following an El Niño event but is the complete opposite.

This weather event drastically increases trade winds which cool the ocean down. This rapid

cooling of Pacific Ocean water can create droughts in South America as less water is being

evaporated into the atmosphere. One potential positive of La Niña is that the cooling of the

Ocean draws heat out of the atmosphere, cooling the planet as air shifts. (9)


Since business never sleeps and the world works day and night to deliver products to

their proper destinations, there is an ever increasing amount of pollution being created especially

in metropolitan areas. During the night, moisture in the atmosphere condenses into dew on the

ground, coating everything in moisture. When dawn comes around, the morning dew begins to

evaporate as sunlight raises the area’s temperature. This water vapor then mixes with ground

level pollutants from automobiles and creates smog.

The main component of smog is ground level ozone synthesized from the breakdown of

Nitrous Oxide (N 2 O) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The predecessors to this

reaction were covered in the above section but the ozone synthesis reaction is presented below


O 2 + UV → O + O


O+O 2 →O 3


This ground level ozone is not only detrimental to the environment as it breaks back down into

O 2 and O 2­ and repeats the cycle, it is also extremely caustic to humans. Ozone can cause lung

and esophagus inflammation, decrease lung capacity, damage lung tissue, cause chronic


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


coughing, shortness of breath, and even exacerbates diseases such as asthma, emphysema, and

bronchitis. (10)


Secondary Effects of Freight

Shipping not only causes problems because of pollution but it also causes environmental

problems with making the ships, trucks, planes and trains. Modern day shipping is mainly made

from aluminum which is made through a series of steps. The first step in producing aluminum is

to mine aluminum ore, also known as bauxite, from the Earth's crust. This only helps with the

destruction of ecosystems since most of the mining is done in a series of destructive tasks.

Miners begin by clearing the surface of an ore deposit which means that they use bulldozers to

tear down all the trees and plants growing there. The miners then use explosives to soften the

growing there. The miners then use explosives to soften the ground so the actual bauxite can

ground so the actual bauxite can be picked up and

refined. The second step in making aluminum is to

refine the bauxite through a process known as the

Bayer process (Student). Along with giving us the

main ingredient to make aluminum, the Bayer

process produces a waste known as red mud which

is a highly concentrated mixture of calcium and

sodium hydroxide. The only use for this waste is in ceramics because the mixture is able to be

molded and keeps its shape when dried. But if put back into the environment red mud is very


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


toxic when plants grow in it because the plants will start to produce aluminum oxides. These

gases are toxic to breath which is why the United States has very strict regulations on where to

deposit this waste (Bayer).

The process of making aluminum not only releases dangerous chemicals into the

environment but it also cause deforestation. When people talk about the pollution given off by

shipping they seem to always forget that there are many more environmental factors and

pollutants given off in the process of making ships, trucks, plans, and trains.

Origin of Freight Pollution

Freight pollution can be tracked and traced to various shipping routes and countries. The

main countries responsible for freight pollution are China, United States, India, Russia and

Japan. China itself accounts for thirty percent of the worlds pollution with United States

following at fifteen percent (Top 5). Even though the United States is only accredited with fifteen

percent they cause more by outsourcing work which causes more pollution in other countries.

Because people in the United States want so much merchandise there is a lot of global pollution

created to fill the demand. Along with causing more pollution in other countries, this high

demand from the United States also causes a lot of ocean shipping which is leading to lots of air,

noise and water pollution.

Freight pollution comes in many different forms with the most common form being air

pollution which is caused by all forms of freight. The second most common type of pollution is

noise pollution. In ocean freight the noise pollution can interfere with marine animals mating

calls, hunting or migration patterns. The other two main types of pollution caused by freight are


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


accidents and waste disposal. Both of these are unavoidable weather we are using gas or electric



Ocean Liner

To understand freight pollution and to understand its depth and connection in several

industries, it is important to analyze the big industry players as they can be some of the most

impactful companies in the space that they operate. For the intentions of our research of

understanding freight pollution, we want to center our focus on Ocean Liner Shipping, Trucking,

and railroads. Understanding their decisions and research can point to what the future may look

like for their respective industries.

Maersk, the largest ocean liner shipping company has

publically been committed to sustainability and ensuring

that technology is being advanced in order to become net

zero C02 by 2050. Within the next month, Maersk is going

net zero C02 by 2050. Within the next month, Maersk is going to be launching the

to be launching the first vessel that will be shipped using BioFuel alone. This journey is going to

occur somewhere within the next month, hopefully paving the way for more use of BioFuel.

Biofuel is often referred to as Second Generation Fuel, this means that the fuel comes from waste

products that can range from woods chips all the way to forest residue. In this case of Maersk,

shell is providing all of the fuel. The fuel Shell is providing is used from exclusively used

cooking oil. (Maersk)

A spokesperson Toren Soft from Maersk had this to say of the BioFuel test. “Biofuels are

one of the potential solutions that can be implemented in the short and medium term. Through


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


this pilot, we aim to learn more about using biofuels in general, and to understand the

possibilities around increasing its usage in a sustainable and economical way.”

While Maersk is paving the way through the use of different fuels, other technologies are

being developed in structure and materials in hopes of bringing about positive changes in the

ocean liner industry. Some of the changes that they are trying to constantly improve upon are hull

coatings that make them more fluid, new propeller design, and even larger ships to increase the

efficiency. (Mcleman)

While continuous improvement is inherent in most industries, potentially the most promising

improvement for the environment lies with solar and e­batteries. Portliner a small inland

container shipping company released designs of a container ship that is entirely powered by

e­batteries. (Port­Liner) We also see the growth of electrification in the water shipping industry,

“Maritime transport is responsible for about 3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,

according to the European Commission; According to Gilliam, electrification of short distance

routes in Europe is inevitable. But in the longer term, the group is even more optimistic that

fossil fuels will become a thing of the past across the economy.” (Grover)

As we have hope for the future of these great practices being implemented, they are not

being implemented on the grand scale that we as consumers would like to see. Maersk, being the

largest ocean liner company is partnering with large oil companies and they have formed a joint

venture with several other industry competitors to brainstorm ideas and collaborate to make

sustainable changes. An important barrier that I see for the Ocean Liner Container Shipping

Industry is the deep roots they have with Oil and Gas that have not typically been companies that


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lead the charge in sustainability. In fact the Maersk family owns an oil and gas drilling and

discover company.


The companies that are paving the way for the best practices in the trucking industry are

not always the 3PLs. 3PLs are not necessarily the companies that are innovating these products.

However, having them on board and having them take advantage of new technology is crucial.

One of the most interesting developments in the

trucking industry is the announcement of the Nikolo

Hydrogen­Electric truck (pictured on the right). One of

the companies pushing forward technology is

Anheuser­busch. “Anheuser­Busch has a broader

is Anheuser­busch. “Anheuser­Busch has a broader mission – to create an emissions­free vehicle fleet that

mission – to create an emissions­free vehicle fleet that will result in the company converting 100

percent of its dedicated fleet to sustainable sources by 2025.” Anheuser­Busch has committed to

buying 800 trucks for their fleet. Their current fleet is between 750 to 900 trucks so buying those

800 trucks could see Anheuser­Busch Logistics being 100% of their fleet emissions free. Nikola

has experienced a flood of orders, currently having 14,000 outstanding orders. There are

currently not taking any new orders, and we see that being a barrier to entry for several

companies if there are not enough hydrogen­electric engines that can service all the demand.

(Straight) Ryder, the large transportation company has also made a large order for these. Tesla is

also doing work on this front.


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We are in the beginning stages of the electrification freight era with electric motors

and the Tesla Semi making their way into the freight industry. The Tesla Semi is one of the most

talked about up and coming vehicles in the freight industry right now. Tesla claims this

semi­truck is the “Safest, most comfortable truck with 4 independent motors that maximize

acceleration and power at the lowest total cost of ownership.” (Tesla) Now that may be a hard

bargain to follow but after it’s reveal in November many companies such as Walmart, Pepsi,

FedEx, Sysco, and DHL have put in their orders for this new vehicle showing that this is a trend

to watch for in the trucking industry. "We expect all­electric trucks to change the playing field in

the years ahead," City Furniture chief operating officer Andrew Koenig said in a statement.

"Based on the ROI we've already seen by converting most of our delivery fleet to alternative fuel

vehicles, we anticipate the Tesla Semis will bring major savings in energy costs and

maintenance, while taking performance and reliability to a level that hasn't yet existed."

(Business.Insider) Popular companies such as DHL and automotive companies like Honda are

following this transition and using electric motors within their transportation process. More

recently companies like UPS are following this trend; by “deploying stationary energy storage

and smart electric vehicle charging at its London depot to allow its entire, city­wide fleet to go

all electric.” (Sammi Grover).

The one hinderance within the electrification trend would be the lack of charging

stations. Many companies like UPS are finding ways to make these charging ports readily

available to condone the ownership of electric motor vehicles. This trend is rising in popularity

due to laws and regulations taking place to help deter the impacts freight shipping is causing to

the environment creating a more socially responsible guideline for companies to follow.


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


Electrification can also help with the inability to find people to fill these occupations. Because

this is a job that’s not really appealing to the eye and takes a specific lifestyle to endure many

companies are offering incentives to increase the workforce within freight shipping specifically

focusing on trucking. Electrification could increase the times products are received in turn

lessening the amount of time needed to be on the road. Many incentives such as lowering the

hiring age, salary increases, and stipulations on how many days a week/hour a day you can drive

for are taking place to increase these low rates due to the increase of demand through freight

shipping. A recent report published by the American Trucking Associations found that annual

salary for truckers in the United States rose roughly 18% between 2013 and 2017.

Electrifications popularity rose from the detrimental damage combustion motors and

emissions from these motors are causing to our environment from freight shipping. From

greenhouse gases to acid rains the increase

in traditional transportation has only

contributed to the damage caused within

our environment. To the right are the most

to least energy efficient modes of

transportation. Since trucks or lorries, an

English term, are the least energy efficient

or lorries, an English term, are the least energy efficient mode of transportation, we can see

mode of transportation, we can see why electrification has become such a huge trend within this

mode. Because of the increasing pollution from freight shipping many laws and regulations are

being implemented to help control companies responses on the impacts freight pollution has.


Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs



As many consumers become more sustainable, eco­minded, and more aware of the

pollution caused by expanded logistics, many companies have altered their triple bottom line to

heighten their image and become more sustainable for the future. Increased pressure from the

media and third party environmental agencies like the EPA have caused companies with large

supply chains to take notice and alter their practices. Some great examples of this shift come

from Walmart and Dell. In 2016, Walmart was the first large retailer to set an emissions

reduction plan approved by the Science Based Targets

Initiative, which was also in alignment with the Paris

Climate Agreement. This plan outlined Walmart’s goals to

reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions by 18% by the year 2025

(Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Walmart). By next

year, the retail giant plans to operate half of their operation

centers on renewable energy. Walmart is also focusing on

loading more full truckloads in shipments and creating

more energy efficient refrigeration in transportation.

Walmart is working with suppliers to reduce emissions

Walmart is working with suppliers to reduce emissions across their supply chain to reduce 1 gigaton

across their supply chain to reduce 1 gigaton equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions, which

compares to taking 211 million cars off the road (Sweet, Cassandra).

Another company leading the path for more sustainable supply chains is Dell. Usually,

tech companies utilize air shipping for their expensive products, but Dell has switched from air

shipments to utilizing ocean and trucking transportation because air transportation is the most


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polluting. Also, similar to Walmart, Dell is consolidating shipments to full truckloads only,

which keeps more trucks off the roads. In Europe, Dell is moving distribution centers closer to

population centers, which means that trucks have to travel less far to reach retail stores and

consumers. Dell is sacrificing cheaper costs to build a distribution center in the middle of

nowhere, which has much cheaper land, and instead builds them closer to cities at a higher cost

to be more sustainable. Dell also tries to keep returns to minimum and allows consumers with

broken or defective products to return them in store or to be fixed by third parties to operate

more sustainable on reverse logistics. Dell also keeps track of their scope 1 and 2 emissions on

their website and have decreased 7,000 equivalent units of carbon dioxide emissions in only 3

years (Dell, Green Transportation and Logistics).

However, some companies are a bit behind on their

sustainable logistics practices. Amazon focuses more on using

renewable energy for their sorting centers and warehouses and

have done a great job building wind farms and solar panel

have done a great job building wind farms and solar panel farms across the world to

farms across the world to support that, but they lack visibility in their emissions figures and

aren’t doing enough to maximize sustainability within their shipping procedure (Clancy,

Heather). Although Amazon Prime members love their free two day shipping, it is extremely

harmful to the environment. When Amazon’s customers utilize the two day shipping, more

trucks are put on the road because Amazon doesn’t have the demand to create full truckloads,

and mostly operate at less­than truckloads (Nguyen, Nicole) (Murdock, Andy). However, to

combat this Amazon has offered free “no­rush” shipping to Prime members, and offer 5 dollars

off their next purchase (on qualifying products). This no­rush option takes almost a week longer


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than the 2 day shipping and can allow for Amazon to create a more sustainable truckload to ship

the package. However, this option is hardly utilized and has an expiration date ­ July 1st, 2019

(About FREE No­Rush Shipping). According to Vox Media and Miguel Jaller, from the Institute

for Transportation Studies at the University of California Davis, Amazon may see in increase in

usage of the “no­rush” shipping if they renamed it to “Green Shipping” to could make the

purchaser feel justified for helping the planet (Muttulingam, Sanjayan). Amazon has a lot more

work though, especially with the unsustainable options of “Amazon Wardrobe” which allows

subscribers to have an outfit shipped to their house without even buying it. They can then try it

on and if they don’t like it, return it without paying a single cent. Also, according to the

“Amazon Effect” almost all other retailers need to offer inexpensive, free, or fast (2 day

shipping) to compete with Amazon, the giant of online retail (What the Amazon Effect Means

for the Shipping Industry, Shipaware).


Much of the shift to more sustainable practices in logistics has been because of

environmental agency’s pressure for larger companies with lots of money to use it to reduce their

emissions. Smartway was founded in 2004 under the authority of the Environmental Protection

Agency, and focuses on measuring, benchmarking, and reducing emissions in the supply chain.

They look at all forms of freight transportation of affiliate companies. Many large corporations

are affiliated with Smartway, thus tracked and benchmarked with other affiliated companies.

Both Dell and Walmart are affiliates, along with JB Hunt, Microsoft, UPS Small Package

Shipping and many more, totaling 3,700 (SmartWay Partner List). But, Amazon is not a part of

Smartway, which has caused criticism. Smartway rates affiliates with main criteria of carbon


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dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particle pollution grams per mile and grams per ton mile. They are

these affiliates on a scale on 1­5, with 1 being the best, and have all annual data of their findings

on their website (SmartWay TIPS). Outstanding affiliates are awarded each year. Smartway has

been a great success in the push for sustainable logistics as it has cut 33 billion dollars in fuel

costs and reduced 119 million pollutants since SmartWays inception in 2004 (Smartway TIPS).


The Environment team within the U.S Department of Transportation works on the most

impactful energy and environmental issues in transportation, collaborating with federal agencies

to ensure all issues are considered. The Environmental team helps: “Move freight by the most

efficient and convenient modes, offering substantial reductions in petroleum use. Provide more

transportation choices to help connect people to opportunity” (Transportation.gov, 1). The

Environmental team has also led the way in the implementation of the National Environmental

Policy Act (NEPA). “NEPA established a supplemental mandate for Federal agencies to consider

the potential environmental consequences of their proposals, document the analysis, and make

information available to the public” (Transportation.gov, 2). NEPA’s strict mandates makes

company’s pay close attention to the environmental impacts of their modes of transportation.

With all information available to the public, consumers can understand which companies are

environmentally sensitive and which are not. As many people only considered the price of the

product when purchasing a product in the past, this generation now places an emphasis of other

factors like sustainability when choosing who to purchase from. Consumers can then have the

ability to stop buying products from companies who do not take the environment into account.


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This in turn will make companies adopt environmental conscious practices as they cannot lose

large amounts of customers to this important issue. Consumers must consider all shipping

companies and make it a priority to utilize those who take the environment into consideration.

Current Regulations

The Environmental team has introduced multiple laws and regulations to combat climate

change within transportation. The first is the Corporate Fuel Economy standards (CAFE). This

regulation involved the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “CAFE standard

regulates how far our vehicles must travel on a gallon of fuel. NHTSA sets fuel consumption

standards for medium and heavy­duty trucks and engines” (NHTSA,1). This regulation would

not only decrease the amount of emissions for large trucks carrying goods. Having fuel

consumption standards for trucks would make truckers more conscious of the route they are

taking as they can only utilize a certain amount of fuel. Quicker routes lead to shorter trips which

not only saves money for the company transporting those goods, but also reduces the amount of

carbon emissions from those trucks. This regulation would also make highways much safer.

Truckers would not be allowed to drive for an amount of time that may be considered dangerous.

“From 2020 to 2029, the proposed rule’s preferred alternative would save more than $500 billion

in societal costs and reduce highway fatalities by 12,700 lives (NHSTA, 2). The benefits of this

regulation span beyond the environment.

Electric Vehicles


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Another regulation that the Environmental team has put into place is the Alternative Fuel

Corridors. “With the designation of alternative fuel corridors, the Federal Highway

Administration is establishing a national network of alternative fueling and charging

infrastructure along national network highways” (FHWA,1). Electric vehicles have been an

intriguing topic in our society for many years. Companies have introduced a variety of electric

vehicle models. The potential of having electric trucks to carry freight could have help limit our

world’s abuse of fossil fuels. However, as previously discussed an issue with electric vehicle is

the small number of charging stations. “The Alternative Fuel Corridors provides the opportunity

for formal corridor designations on an annual basis; develops national signage and branding to

help catalyze applicant and public interest” (FWHA,3). With more stations that are dedicated

strictly for electric charging stations, many more people will be intrigued to buy an electric

vehicle. This will also lead towards lowered prices for electric vehicles as more people will have

the preference for these models. As electric vehicles become more prevalent, this will lead

toward electric trucks becoming a more affordable and a desired option. Trucks play a large role

on the abundance of carbon in our atmosphere as it is difficult to bring goods to such defined

areas without trucks. With the heightened focus on environmentally friendly actions, companies

will need to adopt vehicles of this classification to save money. This includes environmental

breaks from the government while also avoiding

the use of high costing fossil fuels. If more electric

charging stations are developed, we will see a large

increase in the usage of electric vehicles. The graph

below depicts the exponentially growth of electric

The graph below depicts the exponentially growth of electric


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vehicles in the past decade. This momentum shows the success of creating more charging


Current Initiatives

Freight pollution has only contributed to the large growth of pollution destroying our

environment. This has forced governments and companies to create regulations to decrease the

amount of pullulation emitted by vehicles carrying freight. “Over 90 percent of world trade is

carried across the world’s oceans. More than three percent of the global carbon dioxide

emissions can be attributed to ocean­going ships” (Oceana, 1).

From the image to the right it can be seen that the prevalence of ocean shipping is beyond any

other transportation mode. If modifications are made to the ships themselves, or the fuel used,

there would be a massive

reduction in this modes

ecological footprint. The

large abundance of shipping

across oceans has created

groups like Oceana. Oceana’s

goal is to reduce greenhouse

gas emissions by petitioning

goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by petitioning the government to regulate these shipping emissions.

the government to regulate these shipping emissions. Oceana works in part with the Center of

Biological Diversity. Some recommendations Oceana has put forth to the EPA include: “Fleets

should implement technical and operational measures such as speed reductions, weather routing,

fuel switching and specialized hull coatings. Fleets should begin to implement longer­term


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measures to reduce pollution, such as fuel­efficient design of new ships and engines created

specifically for slow steaming” (Oceana, 2). Bunker fuel is one of the most polluting fossil fuels

there is today. With oceans becoming more pullulated, specific modifications need to be made to

the way freight is transported across our oceans. With ships being such a common form of

transportation for it is necessary for ships to alter their fuel consumption patterns. One important

part of freight transportation with ships is to limit the amount of air shipped. When goods are

delivered in a specified country, there should goods or materials sent back to the country that

fulfilled the goods. An example of this was seen in class with the Cintas speaker. When their

goods are delivered from a country like Hathi, Cintas then ships needed fabrics in the production

of basic uniforms with no embroidered logo. This can limit pollution to oceans as another ship is

not needed to transport those specific goods. The shipment of air is very detrimental to the

environment. This is why these laws and regulations were set into place, to protect us from



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Freight Pollution Report - Google Docs


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