Monday, October 31, 2005

Does the NY Times have a fact checker?

NY Times:Wal-Mart to seek Energy Savings

Embracing energy-conscious and environmentally conscious goals will help both the company's bottom line and its customers' needs, H. Lee Scott said in an interview Monday.
His goals, he said, are to invest $500 million in technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases from stores and distribution centers by 20 percent over the next seven years; increase the fuel efficiency of the truck fleet by 25 percent over the next three years and double it within 10 years, and design a new store within four years that is at least 25 percent more energy-efficient.
The trucks in Wal-Mart's fleet, the nation's largest, have a fuel efficiency of about 6.5 miles per gallon. "They can do at least 13," said Amory Lovins, chief executive of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit organization that serves as a consultant to companies on energy efficiency and has performed work for Wal-Mart. "They are a big enough buyer to get truck suppliers' undivided attention."

Transport Topics News: Wal-Mart Reportedly Set to Improve Fleet Efficiency
Wal-Mart is ranked No. 2 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of private North American carriers. According to company data, it has about 6,750 trucks and 44,500 trailers.

The largest truckload for hire carrier (Schneider National) Operates about twice as many tractors (14,000) and a few thousand more trailers (48.000 trailers and containers). The largest private package carrier (United Parcel Service) operates more than 10,000 tractors and 80,000 trailers (plus over 60,000 smaller trucks). The largest Less than truckload carrier (Yellow Roadway) uses more than 17,000 tractors and 88,000 trailers. In 2005 over 200,000 Class 8 trucks will be sold in the United States. The top 100 for hire carriers according to Transport Topics operate over 350,000 trucks. There are over 20 million Commercial trucks in the US.

Wal Mart is a big fish, but in a giant pond. Fuel is the second largest cost to motor carriers after labor. If the market has not moved trucks to better fuel economy how is a Wal Mart going to move it with its control of less than 1% of the market?

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