The Swedish retailer Ikea offers a seemingly limitless array of housewares and furniture to American shoppers, but there's one item the company recently moved to eliminate from its supply chain—greenhouse gas emissions.
Ikea and its third-party logistics service provider, National Retail Systems Inc. (NRS), announced that they will begin using nonpolluting electric vehicles to pull shipping containers packed with the retailer's unassembled furniture and other goods from the Port of Los Angeles to a nearby yard. According to NRS, the "ElecTruck" drayage tractors—Navistar International Class 8 tractors converted to battery-electric propulsion systems—will run solely on battery charge, eliminating the use of fuel. When their batteries run low, the vehicles will "refuel" by plugging into special charging stations built by NRS.
The first stage of the zero-emissions initiative will cover only trips from the port to the 3PL's yard. However, the vehicles have an operating range of 100 miles, which means they could potentially be used to ferry goods from the NRS yard to Los Angeles-area Ikea stores.
"We are excited to work with Ikea in rolling out zero-emissions electric drayage trucks in Los Angeles and hope that the operation is a success," NRS COO and president Raymond Wisniewski said in a press release. "I look forward to expanding our green technology and reducing our carbon footprint."