United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS), AF's top fleet of 300 commercial fleets, announced last week they would add another 285 liquefied natural gas-powered trucks to its carrier fleet slated to be purchased by the end of 2014.
That's a stout 40-percent increase to the previous goal of 700 LNG-powered trucks operating in 10 states by the close of 2014 touted in April. It also brings the total future purchase tally within 15 vehicles of the 1,000 mark. The move will nearly double the amount of total LNG-fueled semi-trail trucks that UPS currently operates -- already more than 1,000 worldwide -- in addition to the more than 1,500 trucks powered by other alternative fuels already in the fleet across the globe.
Stateside, UPS currently operates 112 LNG-powered trucks, so the recent increase in planned purchases will raise the company's domestic LNG fleet by 780 percent.
The tally accounts for the entirety of UPS' planned big rig truck purchases, moving the small-package carrier briskly along in its environmentalism goals for this decade and away from diesel or gasoline, a sustainability effort that has gained momentum rapidly in 2013. UPS quotes an industry standard 25 percent fewer CO2 emissions using LNG versus traditional diesel truck fuel.
UPS has goals in place for reduced emissions by 2020: a diesel soot reduction target of 75 percent and a 60 percent decline targeted for nitrogen oxides, which leads to smog. The company sees LNG fuel as a bridge between traditional fossil fuels and the burgeoning alternative- and renewable-fuel market. UPS also plans to build four new LNG refueling stations to support what is on course to be one of the largest natural gas truck fleets in the United States. The company has already vowed an investment of more than $18 million to build LNG fueling stations in the next several quarters.