Our domestic trucking fleet is one of the largest private fleets in the world; underscoring how important it is for our environment – and our business – to increase fuel efficiency. At $2.65 per gallon and current projected annual miles, if we improve our fleet fuel mileage by just one mile per gallon, we can save over $40 million a year. That can translate into lower prices for our customers – not to mention the significant environmental benefits this will achieve.
As we work to increase fuel efficiency and reduce our energy costs, we realize that we have to look beyond just the trucks themselves. To be truly effective, we must take a holistic approach to our entire logistics operation – including the supply chain. For instance, we know that if we reduce packaging, and get more products on board each trailer, we reduce loads, trucks, fuel burned and emissions. In addition, improving the productivity of our distribution centers and optimizing our transportation networks reduces the number of centers we need, miles we drive and loads we haul, also saving fuel and reducing emissions.
In the past, we have worked to deliver incremental improvements in fuel efficiency each year. Now we are pursuing transformational improvements. In 2005, we set a goal to identify a 25 percent efficiency gain in Wal-Mart's Private Fleet in 2008 and to double the Fleet efficiency over the next 10 years. Fuel efficiency has been improved by 15 percent in the Fleet since 2005. An additional 10-13 percent has been verified in testing and will be applied to new tractors coming in to the Fleet as older equipment is retired over the next several years. Improvements include new tire designs, inflation systems, new model trucks, trailers and engines. Through the use of auxiliary power units, which were added to our trucks in early 2006, we've been able to derive additional fuel efficiency gains. This power unit gives the truck drivers the comfort of air conditioning and heating without having the truck's engine running.
We have taken the first steps toward doubling the efficiency of our fleet by working with manufacturers of truck engines and rear drive components to produce a hybrid, class-eight pilot truck in the 2009-2010 timeframe. Hybrid trucks will electrify components to reduce horsepower/fuel needs and recover energy that can be transferred to electric motors that will power the truck in lower speed operation. With our involvement, trailer and truck manufacturers (Great Dane Trailer and International Truck) are working together to optimize aerodynamic design of truck and trailer to deliver maximum fuel efficiency on future designs. Finally, we continue to identify and test other new technologies and tire designs as they become available.
Numbers found on the web at http://walmartstores.com/microsite/walmart_sustainability.html
Number of Trucks in Fleet
- 2005 – 6,936
- 2006 – 7,075
Metric Tons of CO2 from Private Fleet
- 2005 – 1,320,408
- 2006 – 1,298,324
Total Miles Driven
- 2005 – 817,096,803
- 2006 – 810,283,850
APU Savings: 100,000 Metric tons of CO2 and $25 million in diesel.