From the Highways to the Railways: Intermodal Freight Movement

The means for shipping freight is affected by expediency and operating costs and other factors as well. One mode of freight shipping over the other; rail versus truck freight movement, would not be an acceptable contrast to make when Intermodal solutions, integrating the trucking and railway industries, is the most beneficial shipping option. Truck Operational Costs: Diesel Fuel Rules Over the road (OTR) transportation has been the most expensive shipping mode for more than 40 years. Even as trucks continue to move most of the nation’s freight, the trucking industry has been rocked with steadily rising diesel fuel prices over the last five years. Major trucking companies have cut their over-the-road capacity considerably, as they are enacting truck-to-rail freight shipping alternatives while some smaller trucking companies, having maybe a fleet of ten trucks on the road, are going out of business. For one commercial truck, the cost of fuel—39% of the total operating cost—is the largest operating expense in the trucking business, with driver salaries being the second largest. Trucking companies are slow-walking their hauls to save fuel. Owner/operators in the business say slowing a tractor-trailer rig down to 65 mph from 75 mph increases fuel mileage by over a… read more »

Alternative Truck Fuels to Replace a Dwindling Resource

Trucks carry over two thirds of all of the freight that is transported across America and in doing so they consume almost 70% of all of the energy that is consumed1 for our total transport needs. Fuel is the single largest operating expense for trucks and a single commercial truck can consume as much as 20,000 gallons of diesel per year costing around $70,0002. This is a huge amount of resources especially in an environment where fuel is becoming more expensive as the reserves become increasingly depleted. With an estimated 750,000 interstate motor carriers in the US, finding ways to reduce fuel costs has become an important issue. Late in 2011 President Obama introduced legislation that sets the goal of improving fuel economy in trucks by as much as 20% by 2018. Commercial trucks use around 22 billion gallons of diesel in a year and experts are suggesting that that volume could be cut significantly. While finding more efficient ways to use existing diesel fuels is a significant step forward there are also a number of other initiatives for finding alternative truck fuels currently underway. A long term project in California involving the supermarket chain Raley’s3 has been studying the… read more »