Portions of the Clean Truck programs at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach may still be in dispute, but some trucking companies are moving full speed ahead with purchases of cleaner-burning engines well ahead of the 2012 compliance deadline. One of them is Pacer International, a specialist in intermodal and logistics services, which has put 230 new clean diesel trucks into service in Southern California. Owner-operators driving for subsidiaries Pacer Cartage, Harbor Rail Transport, and PDS Trucking, a subsidiary of Pacer Distribution Services, are leasing the vehicles under a private-sector financing program that helps independent drivers purchase cleaner equipment.
PDS Trucking customer J.C. Penney Co. is a strong supporter of the clean truck initiative. As a member of the environmental group Coalition for Responsible Transportation, the retailer is committed to using only low-emission, clean-diesel vehicles to carry its imports through Los Angeles and Long Beach. In December, J.C. Penney and PDS sponsored the delivery of 20 Kenworth T-800 tractors powered by Cummins ISX engines that can operate on ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel or B20 biodiesel. The engines cut nitrogen oxide emissions by 78 percent and particulate matter emissions by 90 percent compared with a typical older truck engine, according to the carrier.
Pacer is a member of both SmartWay, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's program to reduce transportation- and logistics-related emissions, and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation.