Ryder System, Inc., a commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions provider based in Miami, Florida has signed its first Flex-to-Green lease agreement with Source Interlink Companies, Inc., an integrated media, publishing, merchandising and logistics company. With a Flex-to-Green lease for seven diesel-powered vehicles, Source Interlink will have the flexible option to exchange these vehicles for natural gas-powered vehicles.
“With a fleet of over 300 vehicles that operate across the country as part of Source Interlink’s Sales, Services, and Logistics division, fuel volatility and cost is an important issue for us,” said Jim Tate, Senior Vice President of Operations, Source Interlink Distribution. “The option of using a cheaper and readily available fuel supply such as natural gas to power our vehicles and mitigate fuel costs is an attractive avenue we’d like to explore. We appreciate the flexibility that Ryder makes available through the Flex-to-Green lease offering, which will allow us to pilot alternative fuel vehicles within our fleet,” he added.
Ryder’s alternative fuel fleet includes compressed (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles, which are offered in certain markets in California, Arizona and Michigan. Ryder became the first fleet provider to offer heavy-duty natural gas vehicles for the leasing and rental industry through a ground-breaking natural gas vehicle project with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. In April 2010, it announced a partnership with SANBAG to take delivery of 202 heavy duty, natural gas-powered vehicles that would be made available to companies for short-term rentals, long-term leases or Ryder’s dedicated logistics services. As part of the project, Ryder is building two natural gas refueling stations and equipping three maintenance facilities for the indoor servicing of natural gas vehicles in Fontana, Orange, and Rancho Dominguez, Calif.
One of Source Interlink’s largest distribution centers is located in Ontario, Calif. The proximity of its distribution operations to Ryder’s fueling and maintenance infrastructure was a key factor supporting the decision to sign a Flex-to-Green lease.
“We recognize there is a growing need for sustainable transportation solutions, not only as companies search for ways to mitigate fuel costs but also as they work to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Robert Sanchez, President of Global Fleet Management Solutions for Ryder. “We’ve seen great interest from our customers for natural gas vehicles across all markets and will continue to pursue the expansion of our alternative fuel vehicle offering to meet our customers’ needs,” he said.
(This article compiled using information from a Ryder System, Inc. press release)