Trucking is essential to keep our economy healthy and stores stocked with the things we need every day. That’s been especially true throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as essential goods and fast shipping have been in high demand. But trucking is also the most energy-intensive and GHG-emitting mode of ground transportation, accounting for 6.62% of CO2 emissions in the United States.
Research shows that between 15-30% of the miles carriers drive are empty, which means about one out of every 4 trucks you see on the highway doesn’t have anything in the trailer. So how can trucking’s environmental footprint shrink while goods keep moving?
Capturing just half of this under-utilized capacity would cut freight truck emissions by 40M tons a year and reduce spending on diesel fuel by more than $8B a year. To reduce the impact of trucking on the environment in the short term, efficient routing for drivers is key. We already have the technology we need to power this kind of industry transformation today.
Uber Freight’s bundles feature means fewer empty miles and more consistent loads for truck drivers. With bundles, drivers have the option to book loads and reloads together. For example, a driver can book a roundtrip in one easy step – one load from home and one load back – instead of booking each load separately, which often means a longer and less efficient route. Not only does that make drivers’ lives easier, but it also gives shippers more consistent access to truck capacity and lowers greenhouse gas emissions. A win-win-win.
With bundles, drivers are also able to pre-plan their days to minimize empty truckloads and emissions while maximizing their earnings. This is especially important during the pandemic, as demand for essential goods has surged inconsistently while demand for some nonessential consumer goods has also dropped off. As more carriers sought out technology to support their operations in April and May, load bundling increased on the Uber Freight platform by 100%.
Recent research on bundles observed that the new feature has led to a 22.6% reduction in empty miles for drivers using it – and this will only continue to increase. That’s equivalent to an increase in truck utilization by 4.2% (from 81.6% to 85.8%). Beyond helping save on fuel costs and reduce wear and tear on trucks, freight innovation like bundles is driving efficiency that has real economic and environmental benefits for the long haul.
Learn more about Uber Freight here.