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Rail Shipping: Green Benefits

The growing number of companies looking to enhance their sustainable initiatives are finding ways to cut down on fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy spending. The first place many companies go is the supply chain, specifically transportation. Rail shipping is a sustainable resource that may be overlooked by many people just because they have never realized the green benefits that rail shipping can provide.

Fuel Savings

Shipping via rail is so efficient that if just 5% of freight that is moved by trucks over the road was moved by rail instead, fuel savings would be about 800 million gallons per year and greenhouse gas emissions would fall by nearly 900 million tons, annually. Moving that same amount of freight over the rail would be equivalent to taking 1.8 million cars off the road or planting more than 200 million trees. (Association of American Railroads)


With the average train moving a ton of freight 479 miles per gallon of fuel used, the average freight train motor is about four times more efficient than a truck. Efficiency numbers are actually rising; by using distributed power (positioning locomotives in the middle of trains) reduces the total horsepower required for train movements. The average freight train can carry 3600 tons of freight which has steadily increased since 1980, when it was 2222 tons. Over the last 35 years the improvements have reduced the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted by freight trains by about 75%! (Association of American Railroads)

Clean energy

With clean energy trains being designed, greenhouse gas emissions from freight trains will continue to fall every year. Trains converting braking energy into stored energy cars, and pushing that energy back out to assist with the rest of the trip work similar to hybrid cars and can provide extreme advantages. (Association of American Railroads)

A single freight train can replace hundreds of trucks on the road, freeing up space for motorists and reducing the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. With the efficiency that freight trains already possess, along with upcoming advances in technology make shipping via rail a no-brainer for clients looking to increase their sustainable initiatives within their company. We will explain the proximity to rail yards and benefits of having an experienced partner next week.

Have a wonderful day! 
– Murphy team