If you've been to the Great American Trucking Show, known by most as GATS, then you know the excitement that ensues as trucking industry vendors market their wares to the trucking community. You can find just about anything at GATS, from the latest, most high tech engines to sun glasses that reduce night glare. And, for the past four GATS, biodiesel has been a fixture.
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) kicked off the first official outreach program to the trucking community at the 2005 GATS. If you were there, you may remember the sunflower seeds and BioTrucker plastic cups that we gave away. We also hosted a biodiesel 101 educational seminar where trucking champions Bill and Cindy Mack spoke. Considering that not many of the truckers had heard of biodiesel back then, having Bill and Cindy speak at the seminar really helped get people in the door. Since then, Bill and Cindy have supported biodiesel efforts through their radio show and many more appearances at biodiesel events.
This year, marking our 5th at GATS, the NBB is hosting another very special seminar, presented by JB Hunt and Blue Sky Shipping, aimed at helping truckers get more loads by taking advantage of the need for shippers to reduce their carbon footprint. Starting in the natural products industry before moving into all sorts of goods manufacturers and distributors, shippers are increasingly interested in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Whether it's driven by their customers or a desire to get ahead of future legislation, shippers are searching for trucking companies that can show their efforts towards reducing emissions. One method is to use clean-burning, renewable biodiesel. In my last blog, I introduced Blue Sky Shipping of San Francisco. They are one small, local fleet that is making a huge difference in the Bay area by
providing their customers with "green" shipping.
New Leaf Paper, a leader in the development and distribution of environmentally superior printing and office papers, relies on Blue Sky to ship their products in an environmentally friendly way by using biodiesel. But with locations in DC, New York, and Portland, New Leaf Paper provides products on a national level. Blue Sky only ships locally in the Bay area, but they get demand from customers across the U.S. for "green" shipping. In the seminar, Blue Sky will present the Sustainable Trucking Network—a network of fleets and truckers using biodiesel across the U.S.Blue Sky will use this network to refer shippers outside of the Bay area looking to ship goods in a sustainable way,using renewable biodiesel.
One very large carrier using biodiesel to support customer demand is JB Hunt. JB Hunt has been using biodiesel for years whenever they fill up in states, such as Illinois where biodiesel is prevalent. Recently, JB Hunt has received more and more requests for the use of biodiesel when carrying customer loads. One customer that has asked for dedicated trucks using nothing but biodiesel is Method Home. The owners of Method Home, one of the fastest growing consumer products companies in North America, desire to ship their "green" home and personal care products sustainably and biodiesel is part of the approach. At the NBB GATS seminar, JB Hunt will present their methodology for meeting customer demand for more sustainable transportation solutions
If you plan to attend GATS, please come to our free seminar:
Title: Use Biodiesel to Gain More Customers
Date: Friday, August 21
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm
Room: Dallas Convention Center, Room D175
GATS URL: http://www.gatsonline.com/default.asp
Also, stop by the National Biodiesel Board booth #18080 and meet JB Hunt and Blue Sky Shipping. You can find out more about what it takes to start using biodiesel in your truck or fleet and sign up for the sustainable trucking network if you already use it.