Marten Transport named Thermo King Energy Efficiency Leader

Marten Transport, which specializes in protective service transportation of foods, chemicals and other products, has combined customer feedback, common sense solutions and innovative systems to incorporate improvements expected to lower refrigeration hours by 10 percent, reduce idle time to 2 percent and save millions of gallons of fuel. Earlier this year, the fleet was named CCJ’s 2011 Innovator of the Year Award winner for its endeavors in this area.

In recognition of the Marten Transport commitment to energy and operational efficiency, the company has earned the Thermo King Energy Efficiency Leader Award. Thermo King is a manufacturer of transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand.

Details of the award presentation:
• Martin Duffy, vice president, sales and market development for Thermo King, will present the award to Doug Petit, executive vice president of operations for Marten Transport.
• The awards presentation will be at 10:30 a.m. on June 30 at Marten Transport corporate headquarters in Mondovi, Wis.

“Today, many of our customers want to meet green performance levels that demonstrate a corporate commitment to reduced greenhouse gas emissions and a lower carbon footprint,” said Randy Marten, president of Marten Transport. “Our customers have been very pleased that we’ve provided a way for them to meet these goals while reducing their transport costs at the same time.”

The company’s fuel savings initiatives began in 2007 with the installation of auxiliary power units (APUs) which have now been installed on their entire fleet. The APUs made it possible to reduce idle time to 2 percent.

Marten Transport wanted to increase efficiency throughout their fleet of approximately 4,300 company-owned trailers. They selected a temperature control system that provides exacting temperature visibility and control, which has minimized fuel consumption and overall engine hours and, peripherally, reduced maintenance costs.

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Prior to incorporating the new solutions, leaders at Marten Transport worked with customers to test in-transit product integrity at different set points in order to gauge the impact on products and to determine the fuel savings potential. The results proved to customers that frozen products could be transported at substantially lower cost without impacting product integrity when set at -1 degree F rather than -10 degrees F.

This approach enables Marten Transport to save their customers money while providing a more stable cooling environment for customers’ products. Maintaining sub-zero temperatures while reducing refrigeration demands by only 9 degrees allows a dramatic reduction in the number of defrost cycles required. With 4,300 refrigerated units, the net impact of the temperature change has been significant.

Marten Transport began sharing the results of these tests across its entire network of frozen shippers to improve the fuel savings for all parties involved and to provide substantial benefit to the environment. Leaders at Marten Transport are committed to using creative solutions like these to maintain the long-term partnerships with customers that ultimately drive sustainability in the transportation industry.

Marten Transport says it was the first major fleet to see the value in operating APU units on their tractors and one of the first large fleets to be completely outfitted with the units. “It does not matter if fuel is $2 or $4 per gallon, we are using less fuel, reducing our carbon footprint and helping the environment,” said Marten.

“Marten Transport has always been a leader in new technology,” said Martin Duffy, vice president, sales and market development for Thermo King. “Their leaders continuously identify innovative ways to incorporate the latest technology to address real-world challenges. Because they expect nothing but the best from an execution and management standpoint, it allows them more flexibility on the creative front.”

Marten Transport’s idle percentage has averaged 1.7 percent over the past 90 days. This equates to a monthly savings of $560,000 versus a comparable non-APU fleet of their size. Company leaders are also seeing a weekly savings of around $20,000 for managing idle percentage versus the industry average on APU-equipped fleets. These additional savings are due to the company’s overall execution and commitment to idle management.

Marten Transport continues to increase energy and operational efficiency today through the use of pre-cooling units, greater temperature control and fresh thinking about in-transit cargo temperature requirements.

Marten Transport’s new SB 230 refrigeration units are equipped with:
• OptiSet Plus – allowing optimized unit performance, greater fuel efficiency and cargo protection
• SR-3 Controller with USB port – making it easier for drivers to accurately manage the temperature in the trailer no matter what is being hauled
• EMI-3000 (Extended Maintenance Interval) with 5 micron filter – reducing maintenance cost and waste
• An exclusive fuel filtration system – saving the average 500-vehicle fleet owner up to $100,000 in fuel-related maintenance expenses
• A new controller that allows data transfer via USB flash drive – allowing the average 500-vehicle fleet to gain180 hours of in-service time annually compared to data transfer via traditional laptops and cables