The Coalition for Responsible Transportation, U.S. Environmental Defense Fund and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday, June 28, announced the launch of the EPA SmartWay Drayage Program, a new goods movement initiative designed to clean up the air in and around U.S. ports. The announcement came at a press conference held at the Port of Charleston, S.C.
The new SmartWay Drayage Program builds a partnership between numerous goods movement stakeholders, including major national retailers, trucking companies, port communities, environmental groups and EPA to solve a critical health and environmental challenge: how to reduce harmful air emissions from port drayage trucks.
“The partnership will generate private sector investment in clean technology, improve the environmental quality of our nation’s port communities and demonstrate the commitment we have made as the shipping industry’s leaders to emissions reductions,” says Rick Gabrielson, CRT president and Target’s director of import operations.
Drayage trucks, typically older and more polluting than long-haul trucks, operate in and around port areas and represent one of the largest sources of diesel emissions associated with ports. This program was designed to specifically address the unique environmental issues associated with port trucking, to incentivize the deployment of newer cleaner port trucks across the nation, and to recognize SmartWay Drayage Partners for reducing diesel emissions from those trucks.
“This program offers great incentives for independent owner-operators and trucking companies to replace their older drayage trucks with cleaner, less polluting models,” said Marcia Aronoff, EDF senior vice president for programs. “With the rise in population and the growth of the freight transportation industry, we must be vigilant, forward thinking and creative in finding solutions that reduce toxic emissions and embrace market-based sustainability efforts.”
The SmartWay Drayage Program is based on the SmartWay Transport Partnership, which is a collaboration between EPA and goods movement stakeholders intended to provide a framework to assess transportation-related emissions and energy efficiency, and recognize superior environmental performance.
“U.S. ports generate jobs and are critical to our nation’s economy,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “EPA’s SmartWay dray truck initiative will help ports contribute to their local economies – while protecting the air quality, environment and public health of nearby communities.”
Through the SmartWay Drayage program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace older dirtier trucks with cleaner newer ones, and achieve at least a 50 percent reduction in particulate matter and 25 percent reduction in nitrous oxide, below the national industry average, within three years.
Similarly, SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement where they commit to ship at least 75 percent of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking carriers within three years. By giving business priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates a market-driven approach to incentivize emissions reductions at port communities across the country.
CRT’s SmartWay Drayage Charter Partners include retailers Best Buy, Hewett Packard, The Home Depot, JC Penney, Lowe’s, Nike, Target and Walmart; and port trucking carriers California Cartage Express, California Multimodal, Container Connection, Evans Delivery Co. Inc., GSC Logistics, PDS Trucking Inc., Performance Team/GaleTriangle, Total Transportation Services Inc. and Western Ports Transportation.