The Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) has partnered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport Program to help develop a national SmartWay certification program and rating system for port drayage trucks. Retailers participating in the CRT group include Target, Best Buy, Gap Inc., The Home Depot, JC Penney, Lowe’s, and Wal-Mart Stores.
The aim of the partnership is to build on the SmartWay Transport model that the EPA developed for over-the-road freight for port trucking operations. Initially, the SmartWay port drayage model will be based on air quality and truck fleet data that has been collected through clean truck deployments at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which together represent the largest U.S. seaport for ocean freight, according to CRT.
In less than two years, leading shippers, ocean carriers and drayage companies have deployed nearly 5,000 clean trucks at the Ports of LA and Long Beach, according to CRT.
CRT has formed a working group that consists of major national shippers, ocean carriers, and port drayage providers to provide recommendations for the development of a certification and rating system. The drayage rating system will provide a national framework to measure emissions levels of port trucking activities, set benchmarks for air quality improvement at U.S. ports, and certify emission reductions that are achieved through the deployment of clean port trucks, said the coalition.
In the short term, some states like Texas are implementing cash for clunkers-like programs for truckers as a way to reduce pollution. As an example, Port of Houston truckers will be eligible for low-interest loans to replace or upgrade their old big rigs under a $9 million program, funded with federal stimulus money, reports the Houston Chronicle. The program also will provide loans to buy equipment that reduces emissions from the diesel-burning trucks.