Green Freight Programs Compliment Regulatory Programs


Voluntary programs that help legacy engines in the freight sector adopt green freight technologies and practices work synergistically with regulatory programs, which set standards for new engines, vehicles, vessels, and fuels. Voluntary programs help by collecting data, fostering public-private collaboration on research, testing methodologies, providing recognition, building working relationships among freight interests in different modes, and more.  

Most green freight programs are voluntary. Shippers, carriers, and/or third-party logistics providers are encouraged to participate to save costs and stay competitive, but they do not incur costs if they choose not to participate. In contrast, government regulatory programs set standards by which manufacturers and others must comply. Both are valid approaches to spurring the adoption of new technologies and generating emission and fuel consumption reductions.

Legacy fleets refers to vehicles and equipment in use, as opposed to new vehicles and equipment, which can made cleaner and more efficient by adopting fuel economy and emission standards and regulations. While less efficient and often dirtier, legacy fleets often stay in use for several decades.

In the freight sector, green freight programs tend to focus on increasing efficiency in the in-use, or legacy, fleets. These programs can help decrease emissions, lower fuel consumption, and accelerate fleet turnover to newer, cleaner equipment. They also provide a standardized mechanism for collecting data on the freight sector’s performance in the real world, which in turn can be very useful in developing regulations and setting standards. 

As more standards and regulations are adopted, green freight programs can help the freight sector gain access to emission control technologies and practices to comply quickly and cost-effectively.