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FedEx Freight beta-testing LNG-only engines

FedEx Freight’s two LNG-powered tractors operate out of the company’s Dallas terminal. (Courtesy: FEDEX FREIGHT)

The Trucker News Services

11/5/2012

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — FedEx Freight, the LTL subsidiary of FedEx Corp., has begun beta testing two new tractors powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG)-only engines.

The pre-production engine used in the new tractors is slated for release in 2013 and is currently the only all natural gas engine that begins to meet the size and power needs of Class 8 trucks.

“FedEx Freight has a long-standing commitment to minimizing environmental impact, and natural gas — a cleaner burning fuel than diesel — has the potential to translate into lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Smith, vice president, safety, fleet maintenance and facility services. “We are proud to be the first fleet to receive these new tractors fitted with natural gas-only engines that are powerful enough to meet our long-haul needs.”

Domiciled at the FedEx Freight service center in Dallas, the tractors will be used as part of the carrier’s regular line haul operations and are expected to log nearly 1,000 miles per day.

The extensive use will enable the company to quickly and thoroughly test the new engine’s ability to meet the needs of day-to-day operations.

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The LNG tractor beta test is part of a large-scale sustainability initiative by FedEx Freight to integrate responsible environmental practices into daily operations. Other efforts include:

• Experimenting with emission-free hydrogen fuel cell-powered and electric forklifts for dock operations.

• Equipping all new vehicles with SmartWay-approved tires that help improve fuel mileage.

• Fitting trailers with SmartWay-approved trailer skirts to improve aerodynamics and fuel consumption.

“The testing of LNG tractors by FedEx Freight is a natural extension of our corporate-wide efforts to discover and provide sustainable solutions for our customers,” said Mitch Jackson, vice president of environmental affairs and sustainability. “Across the FedEx enterprise, we continuously look for ways to maximize our efficiency while advancing our commitment to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways.”

With corporate offices in Memphis, the FedEx Freight Segment includes FedEx Freight, a leading U.S. provider of LTL freight services; FedEx Freight Canada, an LTL operating company serving most points in Canada; and FedEx Custom Critical, North America's largest time-specific, critical shipment carrier. FedEx Freight also serves Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

For more information, visit www.fedex.com.

The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at editor@thetrucker.com.

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