The next phase of Walmart Canada's Supercube truck

By Andrew Telfer
January 7, 2014
supercube

At Walmart, our transportation network is a sweet spot for sustainability. If we can deliver more while driving fewer miles, it’s good for both the environment and the bottom line. The latest example of sustainability innovation in transportation is in Canada where we’re now entering the second phase of our pilot Supercube project. The Supercube is a 60-foot, 6-inch trailer combined with a snub-nosed truck and drome box. It allows us to ship up to 40 percent more merchandise compared to a standard 53-foot tractor-trailer combination. Over the past year, Walmart Canada has made 100 deliveries using this Supercube truck, and we’ve found it reduces transportation costs by 24 percent and greenhouse emissions by 14 percent.

This project is part of Operate for Less, Walmart Canada’s strategic productivity initiative that has the goal of permanently reducing operational expenses by more than $100 million a year. The program is truly about reducing costs and finding savings that we can pass along to customers.

For the second phase of the project, we’re making improvements to the existing truck to decrease load and unload times and we’ve also begun work to extend the Supercube fleet.

The efforts of Walmart Canada have not gone unnoticed. Andy Ellis, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain & Logistics at Walmart Canada, and Michael Buna, Senior Transportation Manager at Walmart Canada, were recently named to Canada’s 2014 Clean50. The organization identifies 50 individuals or small teams that have made the greatest contributions to sustainable development or clean capitalism in Canada. In the past year, Walmart was also honored with a CATIE award for Greening the Supply Chain by The Canadian Association of Importers and Exporters.

Based on the success of this project so far, Walmart Canada is planning to add additional Supercube trucks to the fleet as early as next spring. At some point in the future, the truck could be used in up to 40 percent of delivery routes – translating into an annual savings of more than $10.4 million – with the possibility of extending its use into our U.S. logistics operations.

All these changes benefit not only the business and the environment, but most importantly, our customers.