Navigating the Industry Landscape With Biodiesel

Biodiesel helps Ruan reduce emissions and protect the bottom line. 

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 Chevron Renewable Energy Group provides that show how much Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using Chevron Renewable Energy Group fuel.

“As of fall 2018, Ruan has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by over 2,100 metric tons since starting to do business with Chevron Renewable Energy Group,” 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 Chevron Renewable Energy Group also stands out for product quality, reliability and competitive pricing. Ruan buys fuel that has already been blended, 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.”

About Ruan:

  • 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




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