Ryder System, Inc., a commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions provider, has added Willow Run Foods, Inc. (Willow) to its growing client base for leasing of natural gas powered fleet vehicles. Willow has signed a Ryder Full Service Lease agreement for 15 heavy duty compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. The 63-year-old customized food distributor for regional and national chains throughout the northeast United States is Ryder’s first natural gas lease customer in New York.
This natural gas vehicle project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 500 tons annually and expected to save Willow more than USD 100,000 annually through a reduction of 175,000 gallons of diesel fuel consumption.
“With several years of experience operating and maintaining natural gas vehicles, we are in a unique position to help businesses leverage our expertise by making alternative fuel vehicles available through our lease and rental arrangements,” said Ryder President of Global Fleet Management Solutions, Dennis Cooke. “We’ve seen great interest from our customers who want to take advantage of the environmental and cost benefits of natural gas vehicles … without a large capital investment.”
The natural gas vehicles (NGVs) will replace 15 diesel-powered vehicles in Willow’s fleet, starting October. The 15 CNG vehicles will be used to make deliveries to several chain restaurants in New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey. The natural gas vehicles were made available through funding assistance provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) as part of the Willow clean-energy project. Ryder and Willow are working together to upgrade the customer’s existing On-Site maintenance facility to meet the unique requirements for servicing natural gas vehicles.
“We are very excited to be leading the trucking industry by being the first company to use CNG trucks for regional deliveries in the Northeast, and so are our customers,” said Terry Wood, President and CEO of Willow Run Foods. “Along with our truck leasing and maintenance partner, Ryder, we are looking forward to a long and rewarding relationship with CNG trucks.”
Through a Full Service Lease, Ryder acquires vehicles according to the customer’s specifications, provides financing, maintenance and fleet support services, and then manages vehicle disposal to protect customers from residual risk. Ryder also offers a Flex-to-Green Lease agreement on traditional diesel trucks to its customers, which features the same benefits of a Full Service Lease but with the added option to replace the diesel powered vehicles with natural gas vehicles after one year.
Ryder has deployed more than 300 CNG and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) vehicles with approximately 40 Ryder customers in California, Michigan, Arizona, and Louisiana. With this deal, Ryder now adds New York as its newest market with a natural gas vehicle offering. Ryder recently opened its first Liquefied to Compressed Natural Gas (LCNG) fuel stations in Orange and Fontana, California.
(Source: Ryder System)