By: Marjorie DePuy, Senior Director, Supply Chain and Sustainability, FMI
I took a break from self-isolation at home the other day and went for a walk. Just outside my apartment building I watched a 48’ foodservice truck make a U-turn, mid-block, after delivering to my neighborhood market. Typically, Washington, DC, area traffic is bumper to bumper no matter what time of day, and delivery vehicles of all sizes are in the thick of it with limited ability to double park, much less turn around. But these days the roads and the air are clear, who would’ve thought?
Although traffic these days is lighter and scientists are studying the impact of social distancing on climate change, that doesn’t mean the volume of activity from the past is wiped out and it also doesn’t mean we know what our future transportation activities will look like.
Did you know that according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- From 1990 to 2013, freight activity grew by more than 50%.
- By 2050, experts project, global freight transport emissions will surpass emissions from passenger vehicles.
Those facts are powerful and point to a continued need to streamline shipping operations so we use less fuel and generate less pollution. That’s why FMI is a partner in EPA’s SmartWay program. This voluntary public-private program offers technical assistance resources including a comprehensive and well-recognized system for tracking, documenting and sharing information about fuel use and freight emissions across supply chains. This work aims to help companies identify and select more efficient freight carriers, transport modes, equipment, and operational strategies to improve supply chain sustainability and lower costs from goods movement.
During this coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to recognize the work of everyone across the food supply chain. From farmers and producers to truckers and retailers, and all hands in between, we thank you for the important work you are doing. We also thank all of the businesses that have stepped forward to support our industry in its response, a few of which are highlighted here.
Partnership with SmartWay is one way for the food industry to build a more sustainable supply chain for tomorrow. As we emerge from the immediate and severe disruption in the transportation networks we once knew, we look forward to creative partnerships ahead across the supply chain.