Wednesday, 25 February 2009

California Ports' Clean Truck Fee

After several set-backs, two ports in California - Los Angeles and Long Beach - started collecting the Clean Truck Fee (CTF) on February 18th.

The idea is to cut diesel emissions from trucks carrying containers to and from the terminals. Trucks built before 1989 are banned from the ports and older trucks are being phased out in the coming years until the entire fleet of 17,000 trucks has 2007 or newer engines. The ports will charge $35 per container carried by a trucks made before 2007 and the fees will go towards an incentive program that gives companies $20,000 toward each new qualifying truck.

It's worth a mention for three reasons:

- It uses RFID to track truck movements, so there's an IT opportunity for similar schemes elsewhere.

- It adds another level of complication to logistics systems. If some trucks are charged and some are not then there's an extra level of complexity in planning truck usage. There will undoubtedly be much more of this as road charging schemes spread. The challenge is for logistics systems to manage these additional factors.

- It reduces pollution (the target is an 80% reduction in truck pollution at the ports).

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