Modern Transportation, an industry leader in bulk logistics solutions, announced the successful deployment of freight service to the Owens Corning roofing plant in Savannah GA using Freightliner Cascadia tractors powered by 12-liter natural gas-fueled engines.
The high volume, dedicated service established between Sanford NC and Savannah GA on April 18 is the first to date to rely commercially-ordered, production versions of the Cummins Westport ISX12 G fueled exclusively with liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to Modern Transportation officials. Four tractors with the 12-liter engine are in daily service, running 300 miles to and from the Owens Corning plant and the delivery point.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to operate the first production tractors powered by this 12-liter natural gas engine,” said Patrick Cozzens, president of Modern Transportation. “Along with our partners who made this happen and Owens Corning who ‘drove’ the idea, we’re committed to delivering high quality logistics solutions in the safest, greenest and most sustainable fashion. As a participant in the natural gas production industry, we’re also delighted to utilize America’s own shale gas reserves to power our fleet.”
Owens Corning has made it a strategic focus to transition its supply chain into natural gas-fueled solutions as rapidly as possible. A Fortune 500 manufacturer and market innovator in glass-fiber technology, Owens Corning operates one of the nations’ largest supply chain infrastructures. Owens Corning’s chief sustainability officer, Frank O’Brian-Bernini, took note of this milestone: “As we strive to improve the total life cycle environmental impact of our products, we have challenged our supply chain/logistics partners to join us in dramatically reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of our inbound raw materials and outbound finished products. Modern Transportation has proactively embraced this challenge, solving problems and presenting viable conversion opportunities. We applaud their initiative in contributing to our diesel-to-natural gas conversion strategy.”
Modern Transportation has closely monitored the NG-powered truck engine sector and opted to defer on freight business opportunities tied to natural gas powering until the previous generation’s nine-liter engines were improved upon. “The horsepower required to move the freight loads common to heavy bulk trucking--particularly for the high volume, mission-critical manufacturers who demand safe, reliable and responsive service--made the 12-liter engine a necessity,” Cozzens said. “As the NG fuel supply infrastructure matures, we believe this generation of NG-fueled power plants will transform the face of trucking.”