While service delivery and road safety are important to freight operations, fuel is a resource that needs to be well managed. Vehicle emissions can have a serious adverse impact on public health and climate change. Although fuel use varies considerably across different fleets, it nevertheless represents a major cost in most settings. In many operations, fuel can account for 30% or more of total operating expenses.
For example: consider a small local authority fleet using light commercial vehicles, with an annual fuel bill of approximately £650,000, or approximately 535,000 litres of diesel used per year (assuming a purchase price of just over 120 pence per litre). If vehicle fuel consumption were to be improved by only 3% – achievable through a combination of the measures outlined below – this would lead to a saving of 16,050 litres at a cost saving of approximately £19,500, or the equivalent of the purchase price of a new van . This would also lead to a reduction of over 40 tonnes of CO2 emissions throughout the year – a significant improvement in environmental performance.