National Retail Systems deploys clean fleet to California ports

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National Retail Systems Inc., a provider of global logistics services to America’s retailers, says it has deployed 115 Clean Air pier trucks to comply with the Clean Truck Program (CTP) requirements at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Under CTP provisions, the ports have created a not-for-profit company called PortCheck to collect a $70 per 40-foot shipping container fee for shipments entering and leaving the port on a non-U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2007-compliant truck. Cargo owners will be responsible for paying the Clean Trucks Fee (CTF), payable by credit card or electronic funds transfer, before a loaded container can enter or leave any marine terminal in Los Angeles or Long Beach.

“We primarily serve retailers ,and our customers just can’t incur extra supply chain costs in this economy,” says Raymond Wisniewski, president and chief operating officer of NRS. “That’s why we have been planning since early last year to ensure a smooth transition for our customers. Using our new Clean Air fleet, they will avoid the fees and also help to improve the environment in Los Angeles and Long Beach.”

NRS says it is fully prepared to comply with the CTP regulations; last year, the company applied to participate in the Port of Los Angeles incentive program and immediately began privately financing the acquisition of new trucks that exceed CTP standards. NRS says these trucks are in full compliance with 2007 EPA guidelines that exempt them from CTP fees, and that it is operating the trucks with company-hired drivers in cooperation with local labor unions.

NRS says it has deployed a Clean Truck pier fleet with capacity to handle 70,000 TEU imports per year, with plans to increase the fleet to handle 300,000 TEU imports per year by the end of 2009. “Our new fleet, while reducing cost for our customers, also aligns with our long-term commitment to provide green logistics solutions for retailers,” Wisniewski says.

As a partner in EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership, NRS last year received the highest possible score of 1.25 during EPA’s SmartWay FLEET performance evaluation; this places NRS among the transportation industry’s environmental performance leaders, according to EPA.