This fireside chat recap is from FreightWaves’ North American Logistics Tech Summit on Wednesday.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: How technology is driving net-zero carbon goals 

DETAILS: FreightWaves’ Danny Gomez talks with Matt McLelland about his new role at Covenant Transportation and how it is indicative of the company culture and a change in the industry. They discuss the role of technology in sustainability and the collaboration and government support needed to achieve net neutrality.

SPEAKER: McLelland is the VP of sustainability and innovation at Covenant Transportation.

BIO: McLelland was promoted to the VP role in May. He joined Covenant in June 2018 as an innovation strategist. He previously spent more than 13 years with the Kenco Group, including serving as the innovation research manager and director of enterprise systems. 


“My new role dovetails right in with a lot of the things I’m passionate about personally. I’m a big outdoorsman – I’m about to leave on a road trip out West. I’m going to climb a mountain, and I’m bringing my hang glider and my mountain bike.”

“If you find a customer willing to work with you – for example, they build charging stations if you provide the truck – there’s a lot of negotiation that can take place. That is the biggest thing that keeps us from plowing forward [with our customers].”

“Electric auxiliary power units are the easiest way to throw technology at the reduction of idling time, fuel savings and CO2 savings. It’s expensive technology, but it also has advantages for driver recruitment and retention.”

“I’m definitely a capitalist, but some of our greatest problems have been solved with government help. Consumer aviation would never be where it is today [without government incentives]. In order to meet these aggressive decarbonization goals, you’re going to have to have some government intervention and regulation. That’s not a bad thing. They’re in a unique position to help us get there. We can’t afford to do it right now on our own.”