FedEx an Environmental Leader in the Transport Industry
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - One of FedEx’s latest innovations is its Efficient Containers known as Unit Load Devices (ULDs), which are geared towards reducing weight from a jet plane. These containers join a host of weight reducing initiatives at FedEx from re-distributing weight in the cargo hull to streamlining galley equipment. Together with its new, fuel-efficient aircraft like the 767s, and 777s, the company is making a significant impact towards its goal of reducing aircraft emissions intensity 30 per cent by 2020. ULDs are the containers that keep packages safe during loading, transit and unloading of the FedEx aircraft; they will begin service in October.
Weight reduction is a problem that aviation has been trying to solve since the early days of flying because with the right balance, airplanes can fly further, use less fuel and reduce emissions. These new ULDs will remove more than 1.6 million pounds from the FedEx air network, and equates to saving approximately 2.8 million gallons of fuel each year and reducing the company’s CO2 emissions by 77.8 million pounds!
There are many important components that make social innovation like the ULDs happen within FedEx, including input from colleagues from the entire fuel management team composed of flight crews, dispatchers, aircraft mechanics, engineers and analysts. These front line experts regularly come up with solutions to typical aviation industry problems as well as finding innovative answers to tough issues. For example, some specific issues include planning more efficient flight routes, altitudes and speeds, reducing the aircraft weight, using energy efficient ground support equipment, taxiing with one less engine and loading the aircraft to fly more efficiently.
The next big area for improvement at FedEx will be in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration’s initiative called NextGen to improve efficiency comprehensively, streamlining operations from take-off to landing. Also, this year FedEx’s Fuel Sense program helped save almost 60 million gallons of jet fuel from being used, resulting in 572,000 metric tons of avoided CO2 emissions, the rough equivalent to the emissions associated with the electricity use of 85,629 homes for one year.
The bottom line is this: improvements are always possible as long as the front line experts feel they have support to identify and go after opportunities. Overall, FedEx actively supports the use of innovative technologies in its transportation fleet, as it is striving to be an environmental leader in the transportation industry.
Photo Credit: Justmeans/FedEx