Frozen Food Express Industries — a provider of temperature-controlled truckload and less-than-truckload, dry truckload and brokerage/logistics transportation services — announced Thursday, May 29, that it has reduced the maximum speed of its company-operated truck fleet from 65 to 62 miles per hour in an effort to mitigate the impact of rising fuel costs. FFEX expects that most of the independent contractors who provide it with trucks will take similar steps to reduce their expenses.
“This is a decision we’ve been contemplating for quite some time, and we simply have to take some definitive action, as many other carriers have already done, to offset costs that are rising faster than our ability to deal with them,” says Russell Stubbs, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Dallas-based company. “At the end of the first quarter of 2008, we had 2,029 trucks in service, 1,485 of which were company-operated.
“We are active and responsible members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, and this initiative also aids in our efforts to find ways to reduce both emissions and fuel consumption,” Stubbs says. SmartWay is a partnership between EPA and select businesses in the transportation industry, with an ultimate goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overall fuel consumption.
Stubbs says this will be an enterprise-wide effort across the FFE Transportation Group (FFE Transportation Services, American Eagle Lines and Lisa Motor Lines brands), and that customer service will not be impacted by the speed reduction. This action is one of several the company is taking to address rising fuel prices, including enterprise-wide fuel consumption efforts, equipping tractors with anti-idling control devices and modifying equipment specifications to ensure the most aerodynamic fleet possible, he says.
“These are difficult operating times, and carriers and shippers alike have to be adaptable to change in this type of environment,” Stubbs says. “As a transportation community, it is absolutely essential that we continue to explore new ideas and work together in collaborative efforts to find creative solutions. I appreciate all the people at our companies, as well as our customers, for the way they are embracing these new concepts.”