Practical measures are a must for the trucking industry

As the voice of the road transport industry, NatRoad provides frank and fearless advice to the Australian Government for the benefit of our members and the industry.

Recently, we responded to the Climate Change Authority’s (CCA) 2024 issues paper on reducing carbon emissions from heavy vehicles.

While we welcome action in this area, we believe the scope of the issues paper was too limited and missed an opportunity to reduce emissions and costs in trucking.

And due to the paper’s narrow focus, we believe it failed to acknowledge the complexity and diversity of solutions required to address the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry.

This shortfall helps to highlight the need for a diverse range of technological solutions to help meet the nation’s emissions targets, while also supporting one of the nation’s most important industries.

While electric and hydrogen fuel cell technologies are important, they alone are not sufficient to achieve the desired reductions.

Renewable diesel, which is a drop in solution for existing vehicles, offers a practical alternative that can be implemented more rapidly for vehicles with higher mass and range needs.

Additionally, improving operational efficiencies, such as optimising routes and enhancing driver training, can significantly reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Our submission emphasises that road freight transport, predominantly operated by small businesses, requires a cost-effective transition strategy.

Many operators work on tight margins and cannot afford to invest in expensive new technologies without substantial support.

Government policies should provide operators with various options, ensuring they can choose the best, and most practical solutions for their specific needs.

In line with our commitment to practical solutions, NatRoad has developed a new set of resources called ‘Get Fleet Fit’, designed to inform and guide Australian truck operators in how they can save money, while also contributing to the nation’s net zero emission targets.

This initiative includes a comprehensive five-step practical guide aimed at helping operators across the trucking industry increase fuel efficiency, reduce operational costs, and decrease carbon emissions.

The Get Fleet Fit initiative is a set of resources to help the trucking industry transition towards net zero. Image: NatRoad

The guide provides actionable steps operators can implement immediately, such as adopting more fuel-efficient driving practices, regularly maintaining vehicles to ensure optimal performance, and utilising technology to monitor and manage fuel consumption.

‘Get Fleet Fit’ represents the kind of diverse, practical approach necessary for the industry to effectively reduce emissions and transition towards a more sustainable future.

It underscores the importance of not just focusing on new technologies but also maximising the efficiency and sustainability of existing systems.

By providing clear, practical guidance, NatRoad aims to empower truck operators to make informed decisions that benefit both their businesses and the environment.

To explore these practical decarbonisation resources and learn more about NatRoad’s recommendations, visit natroad.com.au. By taking advantage of these resources, truck operators can play a crucial role in helping Australia meet its emissions targets while also improving their bottom line.

*Warren Clark is CEO of the National Road Transport Association (NatRoad).

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