3 Ways to Decrease the Environmental Impact of Road Shipping

A major concern of freight shipping is the environmental impact it has on the earth. Between emissions, sound pollution, and fuel usage, the shipping industry certainly has room for improvement. As demands increase, engineers, carriers and local governments are working hard to reduce the environmental impact of shipping. Smart #shipping practices can significantly decrease the environmental impact of moving #freight. Click To Tweet

The Role of Freight Shipping in Pollution

The freight sector represents about 25% of the U.S. transportation sector emissions or about 8% of all U.S. emissions. Since 1990, emissions attributed to freight have climbed 60%, compared to 27% for passenger travel, according to the report. Here are several ways to curb pollution when shipping freight:

Reduce Emissions

There are many ways to reduce emissions during shipping. For truckload or LTL shipping, drivers usually idle the entire time they’re stopped. That can be hours at a time. Turning the truck off for long periods of downtime, or connecting to electric hookups can reduce substantial emissions. Retrofitting old diesel engines with new filters, oxidation catalysts, and other more eco-friendly add-ons is another way to reduce many of the pollutants associated with emissions.


If you have 2 half-filled semi trucks shipping freight West across the country, wouldn’t it make more sense to combine them into 1? Consolidating shipments, also known as LTL shipments, combines freight from different shippers to maximize the space. Obviously, this only works if the shipments are headed in the same direction, but can decrease a lot of waste and unnecessary emissions.


Shipment management services provide smart logistics to help you streamline your shipping practices, but also identifies and reduces waste. The typical diesel truck drives empty for about 14,000 miles a year, which wastes upwards of 2,400 gallons of fuel and produces 26.4 tons of emissions. Using analytics and logistics will help ensure that there are fewer empty trucks will save money and significantly reduce emissions.

Minimizing Your Environmental Impact In The Future

As more freight carriers, brokers and shippers become more concerned with the many environmental implications of freight shipping, it will only become more streamlined and better organized. Looking to the future, it seems a safe bet to assume that technology and logistics will make shipping more efficient and eco-friendly.

Contact Us to learn more about how to decrease your environmental impact and find out what makes Freight Cowboy different.