Energy Efficiency Potential of the U.S. Freight System: A Scoping Exercise

Research Report T132


Ben Foster and Therese Langer


In order to understand the potential to save energy through U.S. freight system efficiency improvements, we compare the findings of five studies (three U.S. transportation sector studies and two global supply chain studies) of freight energy savings opportunities. Generally, the supply chain studies find more potential through system efficiency improvements such as optimizing speed and increasing load factor, and they consider strategies often omitted from transportation studies, such as reducing the distance from production to market. More comprehensive analysis is warranted to establish the magnitude of feasible energy savings from freight system efficiency improvements and what policies could lead to such savings.