Product Transportation

With more than 1,830 stores, Lowe’s recognizes that how we transport products to our shelves is critical to our success and our commitment to improve the communities we serve. We continue to invest in sustainable transportation practices and collaborate with our partners to promote the adoption of more efficient technologies.

Lowe’s has championed transportation conservation strategies since 2005 as a member of the SmartWay® Transport Partnership, a voluntary U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program dedicated to reducing transportation-related emissions and improving supply chain fuel efficiency. The EPA honored our environmental performance and continued contributions to freight transportation by presenting Lowe’s with the 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award.

Every day, Lowe’s dedicated fleet of trucks travel more than 150,000 miles to deliver products to stores across the country.

To reduce the environmental impact of our product transportation, we team with our partners to promote sustainable practices. Lowe’s was one of the earliest supporters of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT). In partnership with CRT and Environmental Defense Fund, we were instrumental in the EPA’s efforts to develop and launch a SmartWay program aimed at improving emissions of the trucks that deliver freight in and around U.S. ports.

Lowe’s has worked closely with carriers and ports for several years to reduce pollution from short-haul trucks. We helped develop successful clean-truck incentive programs at ports in Southern California and across the Southeast, and we continue to work with the EPA and CRT to expand the program in the Northeast and Pacific Northwest. Today, more than 75 percent of Lowe’s import containers are transported by drayage trucks that are 2004 or newer. Our goal is to increase that number to 100 percent by 2015.

Lowe’s encourages transportation providers to join SmartWay, and we work with them to examine opportunities to reduce emissions and fuel use. All domestic shipments routed by Lowe’s are transported by SmartWay partners. Since 2005, the EPA program has helped reduce our carriers’ highway travel by nearly 960 million miles and resulted in diesel fuel savings of more than 175 million gallons and carbon savings of nearly 2 million tons, which is equivalent to taking more than 420,000 cars off the road for one year.

As we look to use more fuel-efficient modes of transport, we’re shipping more products by train and increasing the efficiency of truckload shipments. We’re also expanding the use of natural gas-powered trucks to improve fuel efficiency over older diesel trucks and reduce operational costs and emissions.

Lowe’s began that journey in 2012 when we joined the Florida Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition. Our experience with alternative-fuel vehicles led us to expand those efforts in 2013. Natural gas trucks are now active at Lowe’s regional distributions centers in seven states, including a fully dedicated fleet that ships products out of our distribution center in Mount Vernon, Texas.

The natural gas trucks are expected to help Lowe’s control fuel costs and reduce supply chain greenhouse gas emissions nearly 20 percent. During 2014, we will fully convert five distribution centers to natural gas trucks with a goal of transitioning all distribution centers by the end of 2017.

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