The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority in mid-June announced that its Rolling Truck Age Program goes into effect Sept. 15. The program aims to phase out older container trucks serving the Port of Vancouver, for the benefit of the region’s air quality and local communities’ health.
The program will cap the age of container trucks serving the port.
Older, diesel-powered trucks are a significant source of particulate matter, which is known to cause cancer. Currently, some of the drayage trucks serving the seaport are more than 20 years old, according to the Port Authority.
“The container trucking sector plays a vital role in supporting Canada’s supply chains and keeping trade moving, but we also recognize that trucks produce emissions that have potentially harmful effects on residents,” Vancouver Fraser Port Authority President and CEO Robin Silvester said. “Our Rolling Truck Age Program aims to better protect communities’ health by significantly reducing emissions from port-related trucking activities.”
The current drayage fleet provides an average of 30,000 single-sided port moves per week. Once implemented, the program is expected to significantly reduce air emissions from trucking activities in the region, including: an estimated 93% decrease in particulate matter; an estimated 80% decrease in nitrogen oxides, which are smog-forming pollutants, and a 2.5% decrease in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
The program’s start date was originally scheduled for Feb. 1, but in January, federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra asked the port authority to consider a short delay to seek further input on the implementation plan from stakeholders.
In response, the port authority conducted two rounds of public engagement with Truck Licensing System (TLS) participants, industry associations, indigenous groups, local government and community organizations to help inform a revised implementation plan.
“Our government welcomes the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s decision to introduce a revised Rolling Truck Age Program in September 2022, after an extended consultation period with impacted drayage truckers,” Alghabra said. “This will ensure that the trucking industry has more time to implement the new rules without causing any disruptions to the movement of our supply chains, while also having positive impacts on the environment.”
About 80% of the 1,800 vehicles serving the port are already compliant with the new requirements, according to the Port Authority, including 150 trucks that have come into service since the port authority began additional engagement over the last few months.
“The BC Trucking Association has been a long-time advocate for the reduction of environmental impacts from the commercial road transportation sector,” association President and CEO Dave Earle said. “We believe that the most cost-effective and least disruptive measure that the industry can take to reduce our sector’s environmental impact is through accelerating fleet turnover. We applaud the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for their Rolling Truck Age Program, an important initiative that encourages our industry to adopt cleaner, lower emission vehicles.”
The Trucking Association represents more than 1,000 companies operating more than 15,000 commercial vehicles.