Ryder System, Inc., a provider of commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions in the United States, has been selected by price-point retailer chain 99 Cents Only Stores to provide a full service lease for 40 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tractors to replace diesel tractors in the retailer’s fleet. The natural gas-powered vehicles were made available through Ryder’s natural gas vehicle project agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California, and will replace the majority of the retail chain’s current delivery fleet.
The contract with 99 Cents Only Stores is Ryder’s single largest lease agreement for CNG vehicles to date.
This deal, made possible by the USD 38.7 million Ryder/SANBAG project, is part of a public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder. The project includes 202 natural gas vehicles to be deployed into Ryder’s Southern California operations network, upgrades to three maintenance facilities for the proper servicing of natural gas vehicles, and the construction of two fueling stations.
“With the support from SANBAG to help offset some of the acquisition costs, we’ll be able to take advantage of natural gas as a fuel source, which is a less expensive, cleaner, and less volatile fuel than diesel,” said Eric Schiffer, CEO of 99 Cents Only Stores. “Not only will this allow us to have a quieter, cleaner-burning, and more neighborhood friendly fleet, it will also help us improve the efficiency of our transportation operations, which is an important part of our strategy to continue providing our customers with great value.”
99 Cents Only Stores has already taken delivery of 31 CNG vehicles and will place the remaining vehicles into service over the next several months. The 40 CNG units will operate throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, carrying out store deliveries and vendor pickups, and will be serviced at a local Ryder facility. Under the full service lease agreement, Ryder will provide ongoing maintenance for all 40 vehicles.
Commenting on the lease agreement, Ryder’s President of Global Fleet Management Solutions, Dennis Cooke, said, “Some of the heavy duty natural gas vehicle technologies available on the market today can be just as effective as the more traditional diesel engines but also provide a significant environmental and cost benefit. We’re honored to have been chosen by 99 Cents Only Stores as their fleet partner and look forward to working with them to help them reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their cost reduction goals.”
(This article compiled using information from a Ryder System press release)