Ryder System, Inc., a commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions company in North America, has been selected by Blu., an operator of liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling stations and provider of LNG technology solutions, to provide LNG vehicles for Blu. fleets in Utah and Georgia. This represents the first time Ryder has partnered with a fuel station operator to launch a natural gas vehicle offering.
Blu. has signed a Full Service Lease agreement with Ryder for 30 LNG tractors in Salt Lake City, Utah and 25 LNG tractors in Atlanta, Ga. as part of an effort to increase adoption of natural gas vehicles among commercial fleets in those markets. These are Ryder’s first natural gas vehicle projects in Utah and Georgia. With a Full Service Lease, Ryder acquires vehicles according to customers’ specifications, and provides financing, maintenance and value-added fleet support services, and then manages vehicle disposal to protect customers from residual risk.
Blu. began to take delivery of vehicles in September for its Salt Lake City fleet and will take delivery of vehicles for its Atlanta fleet in January. Blu. will make natural gas vehicles available to companies in these markets that are interested in testing the LNG trucks in their fleets for a first-hand opportunity to measure the results and savings that come from adopting a lower-cost fuel. Ryder is making investments to upgrade its existing maintenance facilities, one in Salt Lake City and one at its Fulton Industrial Center location outside of Atlanta, to meet the unique specifications required to service natural gas vehicles.
Ryder and Blu. have also entered into an agreement to jointly provide LNG fueling infrastructure at key Ryder facilities. The Fulton Industrial Center location will be the first of these co-located stations, supporting Ryder’s contract customers and will accept all major fleet cards.
“We have successfully implemented a number of different models for launching natural gas vehicle projects – from public/private partnerships to working directly with private fleets,” stated Dennis Cooke, President, Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “Collaborating with a fuel station operator like Blu. is one more way we are helping customers overcome entry barriers, test the technology, understand the economics, and experience the cost saving and environmental benefits of running a natural gas fleet.
“We are very excited to be working with Ryder,” said Merritt Norton, CEO of Blu. “Working with a partner of their caliber allows us to bring logistics and transportation companies unparalleled access to this low-cost, clean, and domestic fuel.”
Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Blu. builds and operates liquefied natural gas fueling stations throughout the U.S. and provides LNG technology solutions for trucking, mining, marine, and other industrial applications. It currently has 12 LNG stations operational and expects to have more than 40 stations operational across the country by the end of 2013.
Ryder has deployed more than 320 Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vehicles with more than 40 Ryder customers in California, New York, Michigan, Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana. Ryder also operates Liquefied to Compressed Natural Gas (LCNG) fuel stations at its facilities in Fontana and Orange, Ca.