The use of intermodal1 for shipping merchandise is one of the key ways that we have been able to lessen the impacts of transportation-related emissions. Intermodal is a more fuel-efficient alternative than trucking alone, and we intend to use this greener transportation alternative where it makes business sense for us as it reduces both our costs and logistics-related GHG emissions.
In addition to using intermodal, we have opened service centers that are smaller than distribution centers. They are located closer to store "clusters" and designed to improve the efficiency of our store delivery process. We also utilize these service centers to co-locate our Asset Recovery and Recycling Centers (ARRCs) and maximize our delivery trucks’ utilization by backhauling recyclable materials like cardboard and plastic from our stores to the ARRCs.
We work with a transport carrier to operate compressed natural gas trucks in two major metropolitan markets. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that these trucks produce about 22% less CO2 per mile than diesel trucks. We are pleased with the success of this program and continue to test other efficient methods of delivering merchandise to our stores.
We are a member of the EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership. This program is a collaborative effort between shippers, truckers, and the EPA to find innovative ways to reduce both fuel consumption and GHG emissions. As a SmartWay shipper, TJX is committed to using SmartWay-certified transport carriers. We require that new U.S. carriers are SmartWay certified. In 2018, the most recent year for which we have data available, 100% of TJX's U.S. land transportation mileage was with SmartWay-certified carriers. SmartWay scores are now requested as part of our TJX Logistics Service Provider Questionnaire, which goes out to all prospective U.S. carriers.
We are proud of our collaboration with our logistics carriers and of our participation in the SmartWay program as we believe through these engagements we are able to demonstrate a shared commitment to reducing transportation-related emissions and contributing to a more efficient, productive, and sustainable freight industry.