The world of shipping has existed for a very long time, changing and adapting in some ways, remaining stoically the same in others. In our world, we’ve pretty much got the shipping of wood down to a science, but it isn’t without challenges. Wood is heavy and especially when we’re talking about siding, wood can be long. Which makes shipping wood flooring, paneling, or siding a bulky, awkward load. (Timbers, too!)
Given all that we’ve done to make our reclaimed and sustainable wood products as planet-friendly as possible (read about 25+ things Pioneer Millworks products do for people, planet, and prosperity here) it seems a bummer to laden the process with more air pollutants through shipping by truck. And yet, there’s not a great way around it today. Not every client is located conveniently next to a rail yard and “the last mile” (delivery to neighborhoods) can really only be reached on tires. As we strive towards hydrogen fueled options and the dream of a country filled with electric big rigs, we’re impatient to do something today. After all, the planet is NOT going to wait for us…the time for action to save our climate is NOW.
Working to lower the trucking industry’s impact on our air is a big challenge. According to the EPA’s website, heavy-duty trucks are the fastest contributor to emissions that impact air quality and push global warming. In fact, the transportation sector is responsible for:
- Over 50% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) total emissions inventory in the U.S.
- Over 30% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emissions in the U.S.
- Over 20% of particulate matter (PM) emissions in the U.S.
Within transportation, heavy-duty trucks are the fastest-growing contributor to emissions.
Enter Smartway. An imperfect EPA-run program that helps to reduce the shipping industry’s impacts on our environment.
As a shipping company, being a Smartway member is totally voluntary; but it does require you to make decisions about your fleet, routes, and drivers that consider the planet first. Here are a few examples:
- Using newer trucks that have better fuel efficiency
- Regular maintenance to keep truck optimally performing
- Turning trucks off instead of idling in park (called “wasted emissions”)
- Smart & efficient routes, that unload and linearly load on the way back
Since 2017, Pioneer Millworks has made the commitment to ship 100% through partners that are part of the Smartway program. Which means that when you order your flooring, paneling, siding (or timbers!) from Pioneer Millworks, you don’t have to worry—our team & shipping partners are doing the legwork to get your order to you in an environmentally focused way. Since 2004 Smartway has helped shippers avoid putting 150 million tons of pollutants into our air. This is especially important to the communities located near ports, truck stops, and other transportation centers. And this efficiency has saved 312 million barrels of oil; the equivalent to eliminating annual electricity use in over 20 million homes.
Until the day when we can ship your order to you carbon neutral* (or let’s go big…CARBON NEGATIVE!) we think this is a pretty good system. A way to deliver your order in a timely, cost effective, and planet-friendly way.
*Speaking of Carbon Neutral shipping: Did you know that when you order a sample through us and we use UPS, your package is coming to you Carbon Neutral? Same is said for our trade partners who choose our samples in Material Bank. These are little things, but little things add up.