2010 Sustainability Report
Leaner | greener | faster | smarter

Our network | Transportation fuel

Reducing contract vehicle petroleum fuel

USPS is making progress in our efforts to use 20 percent less contract vehicle petroleum fuel by FY 2020. That includes fuel used by highway contract vehicles, employee-owned vehicles used to deliver mail and fuel used for mail transportation by rail, ship and air.

This year, contract vehicles consumed more than 550 million GGE of petroleum, a 3.5 percent decrease from the previous year, and a nearly 5 percent decrease from our FY 2008 baseline.

Reducing contract transportation fuel has the potential for significant environmental and financial savings. This year, contract vehicle fuel accounted for nearly 79 percent of our petroleum fuel use, 60 percent of total energy use and 41 percent of our total greenhouse gas emissions. Also this year, the cost of contract fuel went up 18 percent.

Because of the significant cost and environmental impact of contract fuel, we’ve set fuel and greenhouse gas reduction goals for contract transportation.

To help us meet those goals, we’re moving mail from air and rail to ground transport, taking advantage of our logistics network to reduce routes and total miles driven, and working with suppliers to get contract drivers to adopt cost-effective fuel reduction habits.

Reducing the number of trips and eliminating underused transportation helped us lower our highway contract route travel by 4.5 million miles in FY 2010.


The Postal Service was the first federal agency to include energy and fuel reduction metrics in its managers’ pay-for-performance system. In FY 2010, we added energy and fuel reduction to our national performance assessment, which is used to determine postal managers’ merit pay raises. These indicators measure progress toward USPS facility energy and fuel reduction goals.