MIAMI --(EON: Enhanced Online News)-- Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) announced delivery of five natural gas-fueled delivery vehicles to Dean Foods, Ryder’s first customer for natural gas commercial vehicles made available through Ryder’s agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. The $38.7 million effort is part of a joint public/private partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy, the California Energy Commission, the Southern California Association of Governments Clean Cities Coalition, and Ryder System, Inc. The Ryder/SANBAG 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.
“Dean Foods constantly looks for ways to reduce costs and drive efficiency in our operations”
Dean Foods (NYSE: DF) is a leading dairy processor and owner of one of the largest refrigerated direct-store delivery distribution networks in the food and beverage industry. The company has made a significant commitment to reducing carbon emissions in its transportation fleet and investing in alternative fuel technology. The Ryder natural gas vehicles are the first of their kind in the Dean Foods fleet, and produce up to 27 percent less greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional diesel vehicles. Ryder delivered the compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks to Dean Foods’ Alta Dena Dairy division in Southern California in early June.
“Dean Foods constantly looks for ways to reduce costs and drive efficiency in our operations,” said Tom Murray, Pacific Coast Group Vice President for Dean Foods, which includes Southern California’s Alta Dena Dairy. “Advancements in transportation technology like the Ryder CNG vehicles also lower our carbon emissions and improve our environmental footprint in the communities like Southern California, where so many of our employees work and live.”
“We are very excited to have Dean Foods as our first commercial fleet customer for gas vehicles in Southern California. Our participation in the SANBAG project puts Ryder at the forefront of alternative fuels options for commercial heavy-duty vehicles. We are committed to leadership in helping our customers manage their businesses more effectively, whether through fleet management outsourcing, affordable vehicle options, or these new natural gas offerings,” said Alex Madrinkian, Vice President of Sales for Ryder’s West Region.
“Greening the Fleet” with Natural Gas Vehicles
The CNG vehicles support Dean Foods’ Smart Fleet initiative, an enterprise-wide effort to “green the fleet” by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants through delivery route optimization, new technology, and equipment and training for drivers. Smart Fleet activities, including the new Ryder vehicles, play a role in meeting the company’s carbon reduction goals. Dean Foods has committed to reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2013.
With 6,000 refrigerated trailers, 3,000 refrigerated delivery trucks, 2,000 delivery tractors and 6,500 daily routes for direct store delivery, Dean Foods is the eighth largest private carrier in the country. This national scale gives Dean Foods the opportunity to lead innovation throughout the industry, improving the way manufacturers bring goods to consumers.
Helping Customers with Sustainable Choices
“Through our initiatives like the Southern California SANBAG joint partnership, Ryder offers an affordable entry point to help customers invest in an abundant, long-term domestic energy source. And we give them the flexibility to switch their fleet to green when they’re ready. In other words, it’s sustainability without a catch,” said Madrinkian.
“We appreciate the partnership with Ryder on this important initiative,” said Mike Ahart, Dean Foods Vice President of Transportation. “Ryder is an important strategic supplier that has demonstrated a focus on helping customers succeed with environmentally-friendly, alternative fuel transportation options. We applaud Ryder’s desire to help customers bring new technologies into their fleets.”
An Easy Fleet Change Out
Ahart also commended Ryder’s commitment to simplifying access to sustainable fleet efficiencies, “We appreciate Ryder’s role in bringing CNG vehicles to market, driving growth in sustainable transportation projects.”
The five single-axle tractors pull 28-foot delivery refrigerated pup trailers. Dean Foods expects a smooth integration of the new vehicles with minimal impact on current operations. The company anticipates adding more CNG vehicles to its fleet in the future.
Ryder is a FORTUNE 500® commercial transportation, logistics and supply chain management solutions company. Ryder’s stock (NYSE:R) is a component of the Dow Jones Transportation Average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Inbound Logistics magazine has recognized Ryder as the top third party logistics provider and included Ryder in its 2010 “50 Green Partners” listing. Ryder also ranked 114 out of the top 500 U.S. companies and sixth in its industry sector in the 2010 Newsweek Green Rankings. Security Magazine has named Ryder one of the top companies for security practices in the transportation, logistics, supply chain, and warehousing sector. Ryder is a proud member of the American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, supporting national and local disaster preparedness and response efforts. For more information on Ryder System, Inc., visit www.ryder.com.
About Dean Foods
Dean Foods is one of the leading food and beverage companies in the United States and a European leader in branded soy foods and beverages. The Company's Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar segment is the largest U.S. processor and distributor of milk, creamer, and cultured dairy products. These offerings are marketed under more than 50 local and regional dairy brands, as well as through private labels. The WhiteWave-Alpro segment produces and sells an array of branded dairy, soy and plant-based beverages and foods. WhiteWave brands, including Silk(R) soy and almond milk, Horizon Organic(R) milk and dairy products, International Delight(R) coffee creamers, and LAND O'LAKES(R) creamers, are category leaders and consumer favorites. Alpro is the pan-European leader in branded soy food products. For more information, visit www.deanfoods.com.