MIAMI -- Ryder System Inc. and office supply retailer Staples have agreed to add 10 heavy-duty compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors to Ryder's dedicated fleet now servicing Staples.

These CNG tractors are the first of their kind used in Staples' third-party dedicated operations. They will replace 10 diesel tractors currently used by Ryder for Staples, and have been made available through Ryder's natural gas vehicle project agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. 

The $38.7 million Ryder/SANBAG project is part of a public/private partnership involving 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, upgrades to three maintenance facilities for the proper servicing of natural gas vehicles, and the construction of two fueling stations.
Staples has been a Ryder dedicated contract carriage customer for 19 years, taking advantage of a customized suite of transportation services designed to optimize fleet operations.
The CNG tractors will be used to transport inventory to Staples stores in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and the Inland Empire, and will be serviced out of Ryder's network of natural gas maintenance facilities in Southern California.
"Improving the efficiency of our transportation fleet is an important part of our strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy conservation in our operations," said Mark Day, senior manager of carrier management at Staples. "Leveraging the environmental and cost-saving benefits of natural gas vehicles is one example of the kind of sustainable choices that we are making to reduce our operational impacts. We believe that by partnering with Ryder in this type of initiative, we can do our part to help protect the environment and save money at the same time."
According to Ryder, CNG vehicles produce 20 to 30 percent less emissions than comparable diesel vehicles, and natural gas costs as much as 42 percent less per equivalent gallon of diesel (based on current diesel fuel prices). 
"Ryder's natural gas vehicle solution provides our customers with an innovative opportunity to save money and make efficiency improvements in their supply chains, without sacrificing quality and service execution," said John Sonia, Ryder's senior vice president of operations for Ryder's dedicated contract carriage division.