Freight Wing has announced that the company has received a $250,000 Inventions and Innovation grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding will allow Freight Wing to offer trucking fleets 50 percent cost-share trials of the company’s fuel-saving aerodynamic attachments for semi-trailers.
“With today’s fuel prices, our fleet trials produce a return on investment in less than 50,000 miles of operation,” says Sean Graham, president of Seattle-based Freight Wing. “This program presents a great opportunity for fleets to prove the technology for themselves and gain a competitive advantage.”
Trucking fleets will be able to evaluate Freight Wing’s Belly Faring and Gap Fairing products, designed to streamline the undercarriage and front face of standard semi-trailers. In Society of Automotive Engineers and Technology and Maintenance Council (SAE/TMC) J1321 standardized tests, conducted by the Transportation Research Center, the fairings demonstrated a 6 percent fuel savings.
Whole Foods Markets, a retailer of natural and organic foods, recently completed a demonstration of the trial program at its Munster, Ind. distribution center. Their Midwest fleet of 20 refrigerated trailers was outfitted with Freight Wing’s Belly Fairing product.
“It only took three days to outfit our fleet with the Freight Wings, painlessly, to our operation,” says Steve Burse, Whole Food’s facility team leader. “Savings were recognized immediately.” Burse says yearly savings for Whole Foods are projected to be 16,900 gallons based on 2,582,000 miles, which equates to $42,200 at $2.50 a gallon.
Whole Foods says it also will prevent about 180 tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere annually by using Freight Wing aerodynamics. Legacy Environmental, coordinators for the DOE South Shore Clean Cities Program, is working with Whole Foods to implement and monitor a comprehensive efficiency strategy. “This is a rare win-win scenario for fleets like Whole Foods to save money and help the environment,” says Carl Lisek, partner at Legacy Environmental.
Whole Foods also is participating in EPA’s Smartway Transport Initiative. Freight Wing says its products can help fleets qualify for the initiative, which creates valuable economic partnerships while aiming to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 150 millions barrels annually. For more information, go to www.freightwing.com.