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March 10, 2008 4:00 PM, EDT

Con-way Reducing Its Fleet Speed to 62 MPH

Less-than-truckload company Con-way Freight said Monday it has turned back the speed governors on its 8,400-tractor fleet to run at a maximum 62 miles per hour, down from a previous 65 mph, in an effort to improve fuel conservation and reduce carbon emissions.

The move will reduce diesel fuel use by nearly 3.2 million gallons annually, while eliminating about 72 million pounds of carbon emissions — equivalent to removing 7,300 automobiles from the road, the company said in a statement.

“Freight transportation, by its nature, is a significant consumer of carbon-based energy resources. Yet it also is one where if we look creatively at how we operate the business, we can find and adopt practices that reduce our carbon footprint and help the bottom line” said John Labrie, Con-way Freight’s president.

“Fuel conservation and cost savings aside, this speed reduction initiative will have the single largest impact on carbon footprint reduction of any operational or business practice change available to us,” he said in a statement.

Con-way Freight has been a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Program since 2006. That program is a voluntary partnership between the EPA and freight companies aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide by 33 to 66 million metric tons and nitrogen oxide by up to 200,000 tons, as well as saving up to 150 million barrels of oil per year.

“I commend Con-way Freight for integrating clean, innovative strategies and technologies into its fleet operations to reduce energy use and meet its SmartWay environmental commitments,” said Margo Oge, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

Con-way Freight is a unit of Con-way Inc., ranked No. 6 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.