May 20, 2019 12:00 AM, EDT

Leading Fleet Wins With Biodiesel

Ruan Transportation Management Systems has never stopped innovating, which is fitting for one of America’s most storied trucking companies.

John Ruan started the company in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1932 with one truck. Today, it is an asset-based 3PL with a diverse offering of services, over 300 locations nationwide and a fleet that travels 350 million miles a year.

As the company continues to evolve, Ruan recognizes the importance of environmental sustainability to the trucking industry’s future.

“Ruan wants to help reduce emissions,” says Steve Larsen, the company’s Director of Procurement and Fuel. “We are also very customer-focused, and a lot of our customers have sustainability goals, and we want to support them by being a cleaner supplier.”

To that end, Ruan started running its fleet on biodiesel blends in large volumes in 2016. It has found biodiesel to be a drop-in solution that can help the environment and fleet performance while also being a lower-cost option compared with petroleum diesel and other alternative fuels.

“With biodiesel, you can start being cleaner and saving money right away without having to do any equipment or infrastructure changes,” Larsen says.

Proving value

Ruan’s use of cleaner fuels also makes a strong impression on customers and prospective customers that are increasingly asking about sustainability initiatives, including in RFPs. So, too, does its ability to offer specifics with the reports Renewable Energy Group (REG) provides that show how much Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using REG fuel.

Ruan Transportation

  • Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Operates in 48 states
  • Has approximately 4,000 tractors and 9,500 trailers
  • Uses up to B20 blends
  • Biodiesel benefits: sustainability, performance, price

“As of fall 2018, Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 2,100 metric tons since starting to do business with REG,” Larsen says. “It’s a real advantage to have that kind of information calculated for us and available to share with our customers.”

Larsen says REG, which is North America’s largest producer of biodiesel, also stands out for product quality, reliability and competitive pricing. Ruan buys fuel in which petroleum diesel has already been blended with biodiesel, rather than doing the blending itself.

A mainstream fuel

Ruan’s history with biodiesel may only be a few years old, but Larsen says the benefits are obvious — and thinks that goes for the entire trucking industry.

“At this point, I’m going to be more surprised if I hear somebody is running vehicles that don’t have biodiesel, especially Class 8 trucks,” Larsen says. “For Ruan, it simply comes down to emissions reductions, strong performance and cost savings.”


REG logo

Renewable Energy Group, Inc., (Nasdaq: REGI) is leading the energy industry’s transition to sustainability by transforming renewable resources into high-quality, cleaner fuels. REG is an international producer of cleaner fuels and North America’s largest producer of biodiesel. REG utilizes an integrated procurement, distribution and logistics network to operate 14 biorefineries in the U.S. and Europe. In 2018, REG produced 502 million gallons of cleaner fuel delivering over 4 million metric tons of carbon reduction. REG is meeting the growing global demand for lower-carbon fuels and leading the way to a more sustainable future. Learn more at

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