Ryder Signs First Natural Gas Lease Deal in Louisiana

Eagle Distributing to add 23 natural gas vehicles to delivery fleet

MiamiMarch 11, 2013Ryder System Inc., a commercial transportation and supply chain management solutions provider, today signed a deal with Eagle Distributing of Shreveport Inc., its first natural gas lease customer in Louisiana. Eagle Distributing signed a full-service lease agreement for 23 compressed natural gas (CNG) tractors. 

“As a socially responsible company, we wanted to look at our fleet options not only from a cost perspective but also as a good neighbor to our customers and the communities we serve,” said Brad Nichols, President of Eagle Distributing, a wholesale distributor of beer, wine, liquor and non- alcohol products. “These advanced technology compressed natural gas vehicles work as well as their diesel counterparts and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions. With the availability and planned growth of natural gas fueling infrastructure in our service area in Louisiana, we believe CNG vehicles will continue to gain momentum as an environmentally beneficial and cost-competitive alternative.”

The CNG tractors will replace nearly all of Eagle’s existing diesel-powered delivery fleet. With natural gas vehicles available for lease and rental in markets in California, Arizona and Michigan, Ryder added Shreveport, La. as its newest market with a natural gas vehicle offering. Ryder will also provide maintenance for the 23 CNG vehicles from Ryder’s Shreveport service facility, which is being upgraded for compliance with natural gas standards.

The CNG vehicles are part of a strategic initiative by Eagle to reduce its carbon footprint and control fuel costs. Eagle distributes the famous Anheuser-Busch InBev brands that include the Budweiser, Michelob, Busch and Natural brand families of beers, as well as a number of other import, craft and non-alcohol products. 

“By changing out these 23 vehicles, Eagle will cut its greenhouse gas emissions from its current 878 tons down to 670 tons, which will be a reduction of 24 percent,” said Doug Jones, Operations Manager for Eagle Distributing. “We are also changing out smaller fleet vehicles to CNG. We are committed and will continue to change out more vehicles this year and in the years to come until all our vehicles are converted to CNG.”

Ryder’s leased vehicles will be used to make deliveries throughout Eagle’s service territory of nine parishes in Northwest Louisiana. Eagle also currently explores plans to build a natural gas fueling station near its headquarters in Shreveport. 

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen an increasing number of companies not only seek alternatives to reduce and control fuel costs but also to help them control their carbon output and meet their environmental objectives,” said Dennis Cooke, President of Fleet Management Solutions, Ryder System Inc. “We pride ourselves on listening to the needs of the marketplace and developing the solutions that will help drive the industry forward.