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Keep on Truckin’

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Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress - Thomas A. Edison

Constructive discontent can be a good thing. Alternatively, the status quo can lead to stagnation. That’s why it is pleasing when organizations have set goals, strategies developed, tactics implemented, and progress being made.

For the FedEx Express Vehicles department, that is realized in their work on a Reduce, Replace and Revolutionize initiative. Simply put, it’s using the right vehicle for the right application.

- Utilize routing efficiencies in order to reduce the number of vehicles needed.
- Seek to downsize vehicles that travel more miles in order to maximize fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Seek fuel-efficient and environmentally beneficial technologies, such as hybrid electric and electric vehicles, in order to maximize efficiencies — particularly in heavily urbanized settings.

These collective strategies are vastly important in helping to achieve the FedEx Express vehicle goal set back in 2008:

20% fuel efficiency improvement by 2020 (2005 baseline year)

So, how have they done? Here are the results for the first five years:

Year
Cumulative Improvement
FY05
Baseline Year
FY06
5.4%
FY07
9.3%
FY08
11.5%
FY09
14.1%
FY10
15.1%

Some interesting facts in this regard:

•  FedEx hybrid electric and electric vehicles have traveled more than 7.7 million miles through the end of 2010, in the United States, Europe and Asia - that’s the equivalent of more than 300 times around the earth.

•  The FedEx Express Bronx, New York facility, JRE, is a 100% hybrid electric truck station, serving the residents and businesses there each and every business day.

•  FedEx Express Vehicles has achieved an average 3% in fuel economy improvement each year over the past five years.

What this means to me is that an organization should continue to be constructively dissatisfied over the long-term. Naturally, it should take satisfaction for accomplishments, but then it should move on for continued improvement and better solutions. Constructive discontent can change what's possible. Thomas Edison proved that.

Congratulations to the FedEx Express Vehicles team for all their hard work and progress.

All I can say is, “Keep on Truckin’.”

Follow Mitch on Twitter at twitter.com/Mitch_Jackson

Comments (5) 

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Mr. Jackson,fantastic Quote : Constructive discontent can change what's possible. Thomas Edison proved that. In a world that now understands every bit counts, our light-bulb moment came two years ago when FedEx had indeed adopted such a profound philosophy. A collaborative began between PACCAR, FedEx & Vortex on validating the worlds first purpose built aerodynamic mudflap, now offered as a go green solution through PACCAR. Hats off to FedEx for their forward thinking vision. A contribution thats made a difference towards revolutionising yet another ground braking innovative sustainable development and saftey first technology!

Theda, here's the answer from our FedEx Express Vehicles Department: FedEx frequently inspects the condition of our vehicles’ tires. Tire inspections are conducted before each trip by the driver and monthly by our technicians. Also there is a large portion of our fleet that is equipped with Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems. These practices greatly increase the useful life of our tires and reduce the amount of petroleum and other natural resources needed. Thank you for your interest in our fleet and how we reduce energy consumption.

On a previous blog you state that sustainability needs to be economically sound and here you write about FedEx's efforts to cut fuel usage. Maintaining tire pressure will cut fuel usage and tracking tread depth will reduce the chance of a blow out and add miles to the tire. This is the type innovation that cuts cost and is environmentally sound. All of the green business articles seem to be about fuel and re-cycling when tires are a petroleum product and are hard to dispose of. Since tires make up a large part of the cost to run a fleet, it is also a bottom line issue. When Obama said we could reduce our dependency on foreign oil if all vehicles were properly maintained and the tire pressure was maintained, my company, Squarerigger Inc. had already started to develop an automatic tire tracking and maintenance system that would cut inspection time by more than half and render business intelligence that would save money on tire purchases. Fleet managers have always wanted to know which is the best tire, for a certain type vehicle, loaded with a specified cargo, over a specific route. Because RevolutionTMS is a hands free automatic tire tracking system they will now have this valuable information. What is FedEx doing to reduce tire usage? Is it saving the company money or costing them money?

Great results on the fuel efficiency program. I like your phrase "constructively dissatisfied" as it sets the tone that there is more that can be done.

we need also to get to work asap on make fedex.freight trucks electric and fuel effiency and set an example for the world to see before ups.do it first the group of trucks should be top of the line able to run on electric charge let say for 7-8 hour before charging then the road driver can use fuel to run at night.while working dock at break point trucks can be getting charge for city driver i also work at fedex as a dockworker.i have been a road truck driver for 13 year . mitch we need to get this to corporate.so we can show the nations.the purple promise

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About This Blogger

Mitch discusses sustainability, governance and energy management.

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