On January 1st the last 300 pre-2007 trucks left the Port of Long Beach (POLB) for the last time, marking the final step of its ambitious Clean Trucks Program implemented in late 2008. With a few exceptions, all 11,000 trucks operating in the POLB are 2007 EPA-certified or newer. Over a 3 year time span, thousands of older modeled “dirty” trucks have been taken off the road and replaced with models that operate 90% cleaner.
The Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the program in 2007, phasing out the first set of older trucks in October 2008. POLB provided $55 million in financial assistance in the form of subsided loans to qualified trucking companies and independent truckers. However the port acknowledges the support of the trucking industry, which spent $750 million collectively on new trucks, as a major contributor to the success of the Clean Trucks Program. Now, the POLB can boast a 72% reduction in diesel pollution between 2005 and 2010, with the number going up by the year. With the success seen in POLB, seaports around the country are looking to implement similar programs.
We would like to give kudos to the local trucking operations for being nimble and overcoming the hurdles and challenges presented by the Clean Port Act. With this in the rear view mirror, we all can focus on improving our efficiency and processes for continued success into 2012.