Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2010

The Port of Los Angeles tariff allows the same extension as CARB for purchase of a truck with private funds. To qualify for the extension based on private purchase of a retrofit, the truck must be a Level 3 retrofit, and it also must have a 25 percent NOx reduction capability in order to be able to operate in the Port of Los Angeles.

The Port of Long Beach recently approved similar provisions to its tariff. If the retrofit on order does not have this additional NOx reduction capability, it will not meet the San Pedro Bay Ports environmental requirements, so the extension will not be allowed in either port.

Officially launched Oct. 1, 2008, the Clean Trucks Program is spurring the replacement of the entire trucking fleet at the nation’s largest port complex. It is on track to achieve an 80 percent reduction in truck-related air pollution nearly two years ahead of schedule, the ports say.

The Clean Trucks Program is phasing out the oldest trucks. In 2008, big rigs 1988 and older were banned. By 2012, the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will allow only trucks with 2007 or newer engines. These engines are 80 percent cleaner than the average truck in the fleet a couple of years ago.

— Staff reports


Short Hauls

PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT among for-hire trucking companies dropped 7 percent – or 94,200 jobs – in 2009 to approximately 1.25 million workers, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. For December, payroll employment was down 0.3 percent from November. With the estimated 3,300 jobs lost in December, the trucking industry has lost 208,000 jobs – or 14.3 percent – since seasonally adjusted trucking employment peaked in January 2007 at more than 1.45 million.

THE AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS said its advance seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index increased 2.7 percent in November, after a 0.2 percent decrease in October. The latest gain boosted the seasonally adjusted index to 106.4, its highest level in a year.

WISCONSIN has changed its CDL rules to comply with federal law. The updating occurred after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reviewed the state’s CDL program and found discrepancies between state and federal regulations.

NAFTA TRADE using surface transportation among the United States, Canada and Mexico dropped 15.5 percent to $61.4 billion in October, compared with a year earlier, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Air pollution dropped significantly, including a 21 percent decline in diesel particulate matters, from 2005 to 2008 at the Port of Long Beach.

Port study finds air quality gains
Air pollution from ships, locomotives, trucks and other sources at the Port of Long Beach dropped significantly from 2005 to 2008 – including a major drop in diesel particulate matter – a new study shows. The biggest part of the improvement was due to cleaner technology, not from a slowdown in cargo.

The 2008 Air Emissions Inventory reports that while the amount of cargo moving through the port declined by 3 percent in 2008 from 2005, air pollution was cut much more due to efforts to reduce emissions from vessels and vehicles. Overall, it was the port’s best air quality report card since the studies began in 2002.

Air quality initiatives such as the Clean Trucks Program, which began in October 2008, the expanded Green Flag vessel speed reduction program, the use of low-sulfur fuel for ships, and the first use of shore power for ships at berth all have contributed to significant air improvements at the port.

In addition to the 21 percent drop in diesel particulate matter, the 2008 Air Emissions Inventory also showed a 12 percent decline in smog-forming nitrogen oxides and an 18 percent drop in sulfur oxides. Greenhouse gases were cut by 7 percent. Trucks serving the port emitted about 20 percent less pollution overall compared to 2005.

— Staff reports


Hours regs debated at public session

Comments at the first of four public hearings of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s review of the hours of service rule ranged from a request to keep the existing rules to urging a rewrite.

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