Procter & Gamble is "extending its commitment to a more sustainable supply chain" by becoming one of the first large shippers to convert a significant percentage of its for-hire truck loads to natural gas, according to the company. Beginning in July 2013, P&G will work with eight transportation carriers to convert up to 20 percent of its North America truck load shipments to natural gas vehicles within two years. By meeting this goal, it is expected P&G will incur savings for the converted lanes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by nearly 5,000 metric tons (or the equivalent GHG emissions from 1,000 passenger vehicles for a year).
P&G’s commitment to the carriers will convert approximately seven percent of the company’s North America for-hire transportation network to natural gas powered trucks during the initial phase. This will be delivered in 16 states with an average length of haul over 280 miles, including two 1,000 mile truck lanes. Some brands to now be delivered by natural gas powered trucks include Ivory, Dawn, Gain Downy and Tide.
The use of for-hire transportation carriers for natural gas in the market will enable P&G to use them on routes far longer than is the average in the dedicated fleet model, while supporting the growth of public natural gas refueling stations. High capital costs of vehicles and limited fueling stations are often barriers to growth for the natural gas industry, and P&G’s commitment helps to remove the obstacles to the resource becoming mainstream for large scale shipments.
This for-hire natural gas carrier arrangement is in addition to P&G’s 22 natural gas vehicles, which comprise part of the company’s broader efforts to place sustainable logistics at the forefront of manufacturer-retailer collaboration across supply chains. P&G is bringing distribution centers closer to its customer and ensuring trucks are fully utilized in both directions. Globally, the company is moving from truck to rail and inland shipping, which according to P&G data is up to four times less carbon intensive.