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3PL news: Saddle Creek takes steps to add natural gas-powered trucks to for-hire fleet

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 30, 2011

Third-party logistics (3PL) services provider Saddle Creek Corp. said this week it has invested in alternative fuel vehicles.

These vehicles are comprised of 40 Freightliner natural gas trucks and will be in Saddle Creek’s for-hire fleet, and the company plans to add 40 more early next year.

Company officials said that the Freightliner Business Class M2 112 tractors run on compressed natural gas (CNG), adding that they will reduce Saddle Creek’s for-hire fleet by roughly 103,000 pounds per truck.

The company is also building a CNG fueling station at company headquarters in Lakeland, Fla., which it said is the first facility of its kind for a Florida-based for-hire fleet. And the new trucks will handle deliveries throughout the Florida peninsula and southern Georgia.

Mike DelBovo, president, Saddle Creek Transportation, told LM that the company has
made a corporate commitment to protecting the environment and improving the sustainability of its operations.

“Using natural-gas-powered trucks enables us to reduce our carbon footprint substantially while helping to stabilize transportation costs,” he said. “It’s a situation where sustainability and financial responsibility actually go hand in hand.”

DelBovo said that SaddleCreek had been evaluating this option for a year and wanted to make sure that it had the right truck with an acceptable weight and the right length of haul. Saddle Creek is satisfied that this Freightliner M2 112 tractor is capable of providing the efficiency and performance required to meet its customers’ needs.

And since there is currently no infrastructure in Florida for the retail purchase of CNG fuel, DelBovo said Saddle Creek needed to establish a fuel source for the trucks. Saddle Creek expects to break ground on the fueling station and take delivery of the natural gas trucks by the end of the year, so it can be fully operational in early 2012.

“Our CNG for-hire fleet gives customers an effective way to support their own corporate sustainability initiatives,” said DelBovo. “They can reduce their carbon footprint with cleaner, safer, quieter trucks. At the same time, they also can stabilize their transportation costs since the cost of natural gas is less volatile than diesel. We’re able to provide value for our customers, stabilize fuel costs and reduce our carbon footprint.  That’s our definition of a meaningful investment.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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