Spotlight On: Best Buy
The Ford Transit Connect van, an EPA SmartWay certified vehicle, was selected as transportation for the Geek Squad as part of Best Buy's continuing efforts to build a more fuel-efficient fleet and streamlined transportation system. 290 Ford Transit Connect compact utility vans will be used instead of larger cargo vans by Geek Squad technicians who service home appliances, enabling Best Buy to save a projected $300,000 or more in annual fuel costs and reduce CO2 emissions by a potential 2.4 million pounds or more per year. According to Jason Pucely who is senior manager of Best Buy Fleet Operations, The Ford Transit Connect provides utility and fuel efficiency. It offers the functionality Best Buy technicians require to get their work done while not compromising on some of the space requirements that a full-size cargo van offers.
With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China and Mexico, Best Buy Co., Inc., is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services.
Best Buy joined SmartWay in 2007 to continue a history of environmental responsibility. SmartWay allows Best Buy to continue their green efforts and promotes environmentally responsible shipping practices within the freight sector. As a proud SmartWay Shipper, Best Buy works toward its goal of carbon emission reduction and commitment to minimize waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Participation in the SmartWay Partnership is strongly encouraged for all their transportation partners.
As of 2009, 61 of Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy's 68 carriers were SmartWay partners. Eighty-nine percent of Best Buy's total freight is being handled by SmartWay carriers an increase of 40 percent over 2007. Best Buy contractually requires all over-the-road trucking and intermodal business associates to be SmartWay partners. As a result of Best Buy's participation in SmartWay, 12 of its existing contract carriers joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership. Best Buy uses intermodal shipping methods mainly with inbound transport operations, and considers SmartWay rail carrier partner, BNSF Railway, to be a strategic partner. As a result of this alliance, 60 percent of Best Buy's vendor-to-distribution center freight moves inter-modally up from 39 percent in 2007. To further reduce its footprint, all Best Buy retail locations prohibit idling while on Best Buy property, requiring drivers to shut off trucks during the loading/unloading process. Best Buy provides comfort stations and access to store facilities for drivers to encourage compliance with this policy.
Best Buy is currently conducting a full Supply Chain network study to explore additional opportunities across all modes to minimize reverse logistics. Best Buy is working with exclusive brand and select name brand vendors to reduce packaging size for select products, a strategy that will further improve transportation efficiency. Best Buy also has a solid backhaul and routing optimization program in place to reduce empty miles. A major pilot is currently being planned to further reduce empty fleet miles. Together, these SmartWay recommended strategies have significantly reduced the company's transportation impact.
Best Buy finds that SmartWay provides credible information, industry benchmarks, and innovative ideas to help reduce their carbon footprint. The company promotes the SmartWay program on multiple company websites, and discusses the program at all carrier meetings. According to Eric Morley, Best Buy's Director of Transportation, Sustainability for Best Buy means placing a priority on people, technology and the power to drive it in this digitally connected world.
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