Paper Transport Adds 20 Natural Gas-Powered Kenworth T660s to Regional Fleet

Jeff Shefchik, president of Paper Transport, with one of the company's Kenworth T660s equipped with a natual gas engine.

Oct. 7, 2013 - Jeff Shefchik, president of Green Bay, Wisconsin-based regional truckload carrier Paper Transport Inc., is proud that his company is among the first to begin moving toward a fleet with a significant number of natural gas-powered trucks.

Paper Transport began testing two Kenworth natural gas trucks in 2012 and this spring the company became one of Kenworth's first customers to run CNG-powered Kenworth T660s with the Cummins Westport ISX12 G engine.

"While other larger trucking companies are just now starting tests of natural gas-powered trucks in response to requests from shippers, we've already gotten a major education in making natural gas work in our operation," Shefchik said. "It's been a learning curve, but we're no longer testing. We're well on our way to adopting natural gas, which we think will provide us a significant competitive advantage."

According to Shefchik, the company plans to replace 25 percent of its diesel-powered units in its 400-truck fleet with trucks running on compressed natural gas (CNG) by the end of this year.

Paper Transport's first order of 10 natural gas-powered Kenworth T660s were delivered in the spring and expects its second order of 10 CNG-powered Kenworth T660s to be put into service this month.

"We'll continue to add more natural gas-powered trucks because we believe in the potential of this fuel for our operation," Shefchik added.

Paper Transport started in 1990 by hauling corrugated cardboard, paper wrapping, paper rolls, toilet paper and other paper products for a major paper producer in the state of Wisconsin to warehouses and distribution centers throughout the Midwest and southeastern United States. Since then, the regional over-the-road truckload carrier has expanded its operation to include hauling building products, furniture and products for a major beverage company throughout the Midwest and Southeast.

"Our customers appreciate getting deliveries from trucks with quieter engines that emit fewer greenhouse gases; trucks that are easier on the environment," Shefchik said.

Shefchik said since natural gas is domestically produced, it offers greater price stability than what the company gets with diesel, which is the main reason natural gas has such great appeal for his company. Since Paper Transport has been paying an average of $1.70 less per diesel gallon equivalent of natural gas than what it pays for diesel fuel, the company will be able to recoup the additional cost of the technology through fuel cost savings.

"Because of global instability, the price of diesel fuel has been all over the place," Shefchik added. "We believe natural gas is here to stay, particularly given all of the natural gas production happening in the United States.

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SOURCE: Paper Transport Inc.