Going green has arguably become the most popular marketing technique in our current economy. Sure, people like to save money, so slashing prices will draw in customers, but just about every product from major manufacturers has a label declaring what it’s doing for the environment. Reducing packaging and toxic ingredients used to be the concerns and ambitions of only the smallest companies; now everyone has hopped on the green wagon, which is a frightening development for the industries that can’t. Except for big oil executives, anyone in trucking management has the hardest time reconciling the transportation business with going green. When all operations depend on consuming fuel, it’s hard to market business as environmentally friendly, but with trucking dispatch software and a handful of other developments, a few pioneers are doing exactly that.
Trucking dispatch software stores a lot of data, most of which you need for regular tax reports, all of which you need to maintain an efficient business. By tracking fuel costs, delivery schedules, and maintenance work, the directors in trucking management can gain a holistic view of how their company operates: its strengths and areas in need of improvement. The data, though, can become a tool for green marketing as well. When the whole trucking industry is notoriously blacklisted by environmentalists, it isn’t hard to inch ahead and market your company as more eco-friendly. Everyone knows that driving at reasonable speed will raise fuel efficiency, so managers can use trucking dispatch software to monitor the fuel mileage of their truckers. Most trucking companies market themselves with fast and dependable deliveries. Dependability is critical, but you can pursue a green niche in the market by mandating that your drivers go a bit slower and then advertising yourself as the most fuel-efficient in the market.
That’s a small, simple solution, but other trucking companies have taken a more dramatic (and expensive) route. A California company began transitioning its fleet into hybrid semis three years ago. A few of their trucking management representatives cited not only the growing environmental concerns of their customers, but the practical need to save on fuel themselves. The trucks cost significantly more than standard semis (in 2008, they were selling for $40,000 above the average cost), but a lot of that money gets quickly regained in fuel savings. The hybrid fleet gets twice the fuel efficiency of traditional trucks, which adds up quickly in this day of escalating diesel prices. By cutting fuel consumption in half, too, the trucking management team of that company was very visibly able to market itself as green.
For small fleets, though, that just isn’t practical. The $40,000 investment may indeed pay itself off in time, but it remains too much for companies with just a handful of trucks. Going green with trucking dispatch software serves as an easy alternative—or by committing to green initiatives outside of the industry. If you have the budget and really feel the need to invest in green marketing, purchase a few carbon offsets, or stage a company event for earth day. Offsetting your fleet’s carbon footprint, planting trees, or recycling around the office may not appease the most devout environmentalists, but it will demonstrate that your company cares about the earth. That’s all most customers want to see anyway.