Ryder System Inc (NYSE: R) has delivered five natural gas-fueled delivery vehicles to Dean Foods, Ryder’s first customer for NG commercial vehicles made available through its agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California.
The $38.7 million effort is part of a joint public/private partnership among the US Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder. The Ryder/SANBAG project includes 202 NG vehicles, upgrades to three maintenance facilities for servicing of NG vehicles, and construction of two fueling stations.
Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) is a dairy processor and owner of a large refrigerated direct-store delivery distribution network. The Ryder NG vehicles are the first of their kind in the Dean Foods fleet, and produce up to 27% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional diesel vehicles. Ryder delivered the compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks to Dean Foods’ Alta Dena Dairy division in Southern California in early June.
The CNG vehicles support Dean Foods’ Smart Fleet initiative, an enterprise-wide effort to “green the fleet” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants through delivery route optimization, new technology, and equipment and training for drivers. Smart Fleet activities play a role in meeting the company’s carbon reduction goals. Dean Foods has committed to reducing its carbon footprint 20% by 2013.
With 6,000 refrigerated trailers, 3,000 refrigerated delivery trucks, 2,000 delivery tractors, and 6,500 daily routes for direct store delivery, Dean Foods is the eighth-largest private carrier in the nation.
The five single-axle tractors pull 28-foot delivery refrigerated pup trailers. Dean Foods expects a smooth integration of the new vehicles with minimal impact on current operations. The company anticipates adding more CNG vehicles to its fleet in the future.