News Blog: Big haul? Small load? A regional trucking company shows how maximizing space helps freight move across our region

Blog Post
TITAN Freight Systems shows how "less than truckload" trips play a key role in our regional transportation system.
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TITAN Freight system says it's seen a large reduction in its carbon emissions after switching its fleet to electric trucks.

(August 10, 2022) The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) partnered with TITAN Freight Systems (TITAN) to help Portlanders learn more about the importance of "Less than truckload" (LTL) transportation in the urban freight system. As part of Portland's 2040 Portland Freight Plan (known as 2040Freight), PBOT is working with businesses to determine how freight can play a key role in shaping our region's prosperity and sustainability.

In a new video, President and CEO of TITAN Freight Systems, Keith Wilson, explains that about 95 percent of the freight they move is business-to-business and about 5 percent is direct to consumers. TITAN’s home base is in Portland, and they operate throughout the Northwest. TITAN serves businesses that rely on shipments being on time, which the company has a stellar reputation for. However, TITAN says on-time shipments are becoming more difficult with more traffic congestion on roads around the region. For 2040Freight, Wilson hopes to see the city continue to do as much as it can to help people walk, roll, and take transit so that freight can move more efficiently with fewer single-occupancy vehicles on the road. 

TITAN is an expert in maximizing space while moving freight across the Pacific Northwest. TITAN’s business model is based off expertly consolidating goods from multiple businesses into just one truck. The “LTL” method or “less than truckload” may sound like TITAN trucks drive around with lots of empty space in their fleet, however that’s far from the case. The businesses TITAN works with don’t need a full semitruck to move their load of goods. By paying for just the portion of the trailer they use TITAN’s customers save money on their shipping needs. TITAN then sells the rest of the space to other businesses - mostly in the industrial sector - who also need to move less than a truckload of goods.

PBOT's 2040Freight Plan is working to help make our urban freight movement safer, more equitable, efficient, and sustainable. As part of their work, TITAN has made significant efforts to champion carbon emission reduction practices and working to educate policy makers and trucking industry leaders about the importance of renewable diesel. According to Wilson, who is a member of the 2040Freight Plan Community Advisory Committee, TITAN reduced their CO2 emissions by over 1,000 metric tons in just one year without needing to make any modifications to their fleet. TITAN achieved this by switching the fuel source for their trucks. In a TITAN video with the Neste MY Renewable Diesel company, they note this amount is the equivalent to planting 16,535 trees. Wilson says renewable diesel led to a “tremendous reduction in operating expenses as far as our maintenance department” and that switching over was one of the best business decisions he’s ever made.

Now TITAN is going further. In December 2021, TITAN was awarded a $1.2M grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to buy and operate six electric Class eight heavy duty trucks, and they will be among the first to ever hit the roads in Oregon. Wilson says transitioning to electric trucks will be important for reducing air pollution and transportation impacts on climate change, which especially benefits vulnerable populations. 

The TITAN video for PBOT’s 2040Freight Plan is the fourth in a series that will feature unique perspectives from within Portland’s urban freight system. Together, the videos will aim to elevate some of the range and diversity of freight movement in Portland and how the 2040Freight Plan will aim to support it in ways that are safe, equitable, efficient, and sustainable. 

To watch more project videos, learn more, or sign up for project updates, visit www.2040Freight.com.