NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa, Oct. 12, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heartland Express, Inc. (Nasdaq:HTLD) was honored with a SmartWay ® Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a true industry leader in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency. Michael Gerdin, President and CEO stated, "Heartland Express is proud of the efforts we have put forth towards our environmental impact. Our people do what it takes to make us an industry leader both in our financial performance and how we treat the environment. I thank each and every driver, shop, and office person for their hard work and effort." Heartland Express was one of only 4 large truckload dry van companies, representing fewer than one percent of the Partnerships' nearly 3,000 Partners, to receive this distinction. The award for truck and multimodal carrier Partners were announced at the American Trucking Association's Annual Management Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shipper and logistic company Partners were recognized at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals annual conference held in Atlanta, Georgia. "EPA is pleased to recognize these SmartWay Partners with a 2012 Excellence Award. I commend Heartland for its leadership in moving goods efficiently and reducing the environmental impact of freight through the second generation SmartWay Transport Partnership," said Chris Grundler, Acting Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "Their commitment is helping lead the freight industry to a more sustainable future." Heartland Express is an irregular route truckload carrier based in North Liberty, Iowa serving customers with shipping lanes throughout the United States. Heartland focuses on medium to short haul regional freight, offering shippers industry leading on-time service so they can achieve their strategic goals for their customers. Founded in 1978 by Russell Gerdin, Heartland went public in 1986 trading under the symbol HTLD. Today, Heartland employs over 3,000 people as drivers, office and shop employees with over $500 million annually in gross revenues. More information about Heartland Express can be found on the company website at www.heartlandexpress.com . EPA launched SmartWay in 2004 to help business improve the sustainability of their freight supply chains. Today the Partnership consists of nearly 3,000 Partners, representing a cross section of the freight supply chain industry. As of today, SmartWay Partners have saved 55 million barrels of oil. This is equivalent to taking over 3 million cars off the road for an entire year. SmartWay's clean air achievements (23.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 478,000 tons nitrogen oxides, and 22,000 tons of particulate matter reduced so far) help protect the health and well-being of citizens while contributing to our nation's economic and energy security.