Back to Newsroom

4 min read

94% of transportation professionals say reducing emissions is a top priority in the next 12 months, new Breakthrough research finds

June 26, 2023


Amid escalating economic constraints and consumer demand for sustainability, Breakthrough’s State of Transportation report uncovers concerns, opportunities, and priorities for both shippers and carriers in 2023

Green Bay, Wis., June 26, 2023Breakthrough, a leading transportation management technology provider, today unveils the findings of its 2023 State of Transportation study. The report details how both carriers and shippers are recovering from turbulent economic, political, and environmental challenges of the last five years and how present-day macroeconomic forces are shaping priorities. In addition, the report addresses how industry leaders are prioritizing sustainability objectives.

The study surveyed 500 transportation leaders, including carriers and shippers, at enterprises across the United States about their goals, priorities, and predictions for the next 12 months. One of the most significant findings from the report reveals that nearly 94% of transportation professionals say consumer demand for more sustainable products makes reducing emissions a top priority for the next year. Despite industry headwinds, the calls for sustainability across the value chain have never been more urgent and clear. As such, electric and alternative energy vehicles are in-demand green solutions. The majority of shippers (99%) agree they would take advantage of these options if carriers in their networks offered them — and 79% strongly agree. On the carrier side, nearly all respondents (97%) see value in adding EVs to their fleets — and 59% plan to do so by the end of 2023.

“Inflation, volatile fuel prices, and capacity fluxes will continue to weigh heavily on the transportation industry, making it more important for organizations to prioritize efficiency measures,” said Matt Muenster, chief economist at Breakthrough. “Despite these economic hurdles, the desire for sustainable practices remains. With an abundance of intermodal capacity and a surge of investment in alternative energy technology and vehicles, shippers and carriers have an opportunity to shift toward more eco-conscious operations. This report provides a comprehensive overview of how organizations are tackling both economic and ecological challenges.”

Relationships are paramount to reducing emissions and creating efficiencies, according to the survey. In fact, 70% of transportation leaders say forging mutually beneficial partnerships is an important focus area in the next 12 months. As shippers and carriers nurture and grow partnerships, cost, capacity, service, and carbon will be top-of-mind. But many shippers lack information about available regional carriers.

“We’re seeing transportation leaders prioritize strengthening their current partnerships and exploring new relationships to fill in gaps, especially to support their sustainability ambitions,” said Jenny Vander Zanden, chief operating officer at Breakthrough. “Strong carrier partnerships are vital to navigating market volatility. But organizations may struggle to identify the right partners to fulfill their specific needs and meet their standards due to competing priorities and demands. This report dives deeper into how organizations can best prepare for the next year with the right tools and partnerships.”

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of transportation leaders expect linehaul rates to remain higher than average as an outcome of increased labor and equipment costs, despite Breakthrough’s long-term expectations and internal data indicating truckload linehaul rates will approach their floor toward the end of this year. This contrast, as well as volatile diesel fuel prices, limited freight capacity, and driver shortages, are significant concerns for shippers and carriers moving forward — further illustrating the need for solid partnerships to navigate anticipated challenges.

To see the complete findings from Breakthrough’s State of Transportation report, go to

About Breakthrough

Breakthrough, a U.S. Venture company, is a leading innovator empowering shippers with data, technology, and market knowledge to reduce cost, create fair partnerships, and improve transportation network efficiency and sustainability. By leveraging a robust dataset of over $25 billion in annual freight spend, Breakthrough uncovers freight optimizations and removes distortion from traditional transportation practices. Together with its shipper clients, Breakthrough is transforming the transportation industry by building a more effective and sustainable freight ecosystem. The company was named to Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Logistics in 2021, is a recipient of the prestigious “Winning Through Innovation” award from Unilever, and is a five-time recipient of Procter & Gamble’s “External Business Partner Excellence Award.”

Media contact Marissa Pasillas Walker Sands for Breakthrough

Natural Gas | Alternative Energy 101

3 min read

June 14, 2024

Breakthrough wins Overall Analytics Solution of the Year from SupplyTech Breakthrough

Breakthrough’s Capac-ID solution recognized for driving efficiency and cost reduction in transportation

Read more
CERAWeek 2019 Summary | The World’s Premier Energy Event

3 min read

June 11, 2024

Breakthrough Named a 2024 Top Food Chain Technology by Food Chain Digest

The leader in transportation management technology is recognized for innovation and positive impact on the food supply chain.

Read more
2024 State of Transportation Report

4 min read

April 3, 2024

Breakthrough’s research reveals extreme weather is the top challenge for transportation professionals in 2024

Shippers and carriers are prioritizing climate change, sustainability and new partnerships while capacity is favorable, Breakthrough’s 2024 State of Transportation report finds

Read more