NFI, a leading supply chain solutions provider, continues to push a variety of green initiatives forward to improve its environmental impact across its operations spanning North America. Working with a range of manufacturers to implement electric vehicles into its operations, NFI received its first electric truck in August 2019 and will have 40 electric vehicles in its operational fleet by mid 2020, including electric yard tractors.
Partnered with Daimler Trucks North America LLC (DTNA) and Volvo Trucks in conjunction with California’s South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD), NFI is incorporating the electric tractors into its drayage operations in Southern California, where its distribution portfolio spans over 15 million square feet. As a Volvo LIGHTS program partner, NFI will be adding 10 lithium battery powered forklifts, two electric yard tractors, and 10 automotive chargers. In addition to the West Coast, NFI offers an expansive drayage presence that spans major ports, rail terminals, and logistics hubs across the U.S.
A long standing partner of DTNA, NFI was one of the first companies to deploy the Class 8 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias into its Southern California operations in September 2019. With plans to receive nine additional eCascadias, NFI will test the battery electric vehicles under real-world conditions and provide feedback to help enhance the integration of commercial electric vehicles into operations. Further reinforcing its commitment to building its electric fleet, NFI has installed electric charging stations within its Southern California operations.
NFI is also partnered with Volvo Trucks and for the Volvo Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions (LIGHTS) project, in which NFI will operate Volvo Trucks’ all-electric truck demonstrators within its Southern California drayage fleet in early 2020. The Volvo LIGHTS project is part of a California initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment. The project is estimated to eliminate 3.57 tons of air pollutants and 3,020 tons of greenhouse gases annually.
“With the well-being of our employees and communities as our top priority, social responsibility is a core value at NFI that we strive to put into action across all facets of our business,” said Sid Brown, CEO of NFI. “In addition to being a top logistics provider, NFI continues to be a leader in sustainability, partnering with other industry leaders to remain at the forefront of innovation. We will continue to invest in new initiatives and technological advancements to help create a cleaner environment.”
NFI will also receive 25 Kalmar Ottawa Electric T2E Terminal Tractors early next year for use in its California distribution centers. These terminal tractors will replace all the company owned diesel terminal tractors in its California operations. The Kalmar Ottawa Electric T2Es are designed for trailer handling operations in dispersed warehouses, container terminals and other applications where short distance road travel is required. The Kalmar Ottawa T2E does not generate fumes and produces minimal noise, vibrations, and heat. NFI will also be installing its own infrastructure to support these vehicles, in addition to its electric trucks.
“The electrification of trucks is a huge milestone for the industry, and it’s an exciting time to be part of NFI,” said Bill Bliem, SVP of Fleet Services at NFI. “The adoption of electric vehicles throughout the industry will be gradual, but it will be revolutionary as we continue to push for a greener approach to meet evolving consumer demands.”
Founded in 1932, the company continues to be recognized within the logistics industry for its sustainability efforts within its dedicated and drayage fleet of over 4,000 tractors and 9,700 trailers. Most recently, NFI was named an EPA SmartWay Excellence Award, an honor it has received four times since 2006, as well as a SmartWay High Performer. In addition to electric vehicles, the company operates Near Zero compressed natural gas trucks fueled with renewable energy. To enhance fuel efficiency, NFI’s fleet also utilizes low-rolling-resistance wide-based tires, battery powered Auxiliary Power Units (APUs), and aerodynamic facets.
NFI drives sustainability within its approximately 50 million sq. ft. of distribution space throughout North America. A variety of green equipment is in place in addition to Kalmar Ottawa Electric T2Es, such as lithium battery powered forklifts and battery powered automated units. NFI’s real estate team also operates with sustainability at top of mind, striving to build all new construction to meet LEED standards to run more efficiently, reducing utility costs and creating a cleaner environment.