- 25 Heavy Duty Vehicles Made Available from the Ryder/SANBAG Natural Gas Vehicle Project in Southern California -

August 04, 2011 08:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time - MIAMI--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE: R) announced today that it has finalized an agreement to lease 25 compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, a leading grocery retailer. The CNG vehicles are the first of their kind in the Fresh & Easy fleet and have been made available through Ryder’s agreement with the San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG) in Southern California. The $38.7 million Ryder/SANBAG project is part of a 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 project includes 202 heavy duty natural gas vehicles, upgrades to three maintenance facilities for the proper servicing of natural gas vehicles, and the construction of two fueling stations.

Fresh & Easy is an existing Ryder Dedicated Contract Carriage (DCC) customer, benefiting from a customized suite of transportation services that optimize fleet operations including drivers, equipment, management, and ongoing engineering support. Fresh & Easy operates 176 grocery stores in California, Arizona and Nevada and relies on a total fleet of 71 vehicles managed by Ryder to support store deliveries from its Riverside, California distribution center. The first 15 CNG vehicles were delivered to Fresh & Easy in July and the balance will be delivered in October.

“We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, and incorporating natural gas vehicles into our fleet is a natural step to help us reduce emissions even further,” said Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason. “Ryder has been an excellent partner in this effort, supporting our efforts to save our customers money and to be a good neighbor.”

Natural gas vehicles produce 20 to 30 percent less emissions than comparable diesel vehicles. In addition, natural gas costs as much as 42 percent less per equivalent gallon of diesel based on current diesel fuel prices.

“When we can reduce our operating costs through more efficient transportation technologies like natural gas, we can pass those savings on to our customers,” continued Mr. Mason. “This natural gas vehicle initiative directly supports our efforts to offer fresh, wholesome food at affordable prices.”

On average, Fresh & Easy stores use 30 percent less energy than a typical supermarket, which helps its customers save money – and also helps the environment. The company installed a 500,000 square foot roof-mounted solar panel on its Riverside distribution center – one of the largest solar installations in North America. Fresh & Easy uses LED lighting in external signs and freezer cases, offers customer recycling in every store, and uses advanced refrigeration and freezer units to cut back on energy usage. The company also recycles or reuses all of its display packaging, sending the majority back through its distribution center. In addition, Fresh & Easy is a member of the California Climate Action Registry, the state’s only official voluntary registry for greenhouse gas emissions, and The Climate Registry, a group that standardized the measurement for greenhouse gas emissions across North America. For more information, visit www.freshandeasy.com.

“Offering a natural gas vehicle solution to our logistics customers is an innovative and efficient option to execute their supply chain movements. It enables them to not only lower transportation costs and increase efficiencies, but also has clear and measurable benefits for reduced emissions,” stated John Sonia, Ryder’s senior vice president of operations for Dedicated Contract Carriage solutions. “Today’s complex supply chains require unwavering operational excellence, and this new vehicle technology enables our clients to transition their fleets without compromising that in any way, with the added environmental benefits of natural gas.”

About Ryder

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 and 2011 “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. Ryder is a charter member of the NGV Fleet Forum and a member of the Department of Energy’s National Clean Fleets Partnership. Ryder is also 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.

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