Transport Refrigeration in California Sustainable Freight Action Plan

Transport refrigeration is identified in the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan in accordance with an executive order providing a vision for California’s transition to a more efficient, more economically competitive, and less polluting freight transport system.

According to the document “The Action Plan is the beginning of a process, and signals State government’s interest in collaborating with stakeholders on defining the actions necessary to make the vision for a sustainable freight transport system a reality.”

Citations related to transport refrigeration are excerpted below:

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CleanFuture’s John Thornton to Speak on Idle Reduction Technologies: How to Lower Your Fuel Consumption and Save Money

CleanFuture principal John Thornton will be delivering a presentation on idle reduction technologies at the Louisiana Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo on April 14, 2016 at the Cajundome Conference Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.


CARB Workshop on Reducing Stationary TRU Emissions

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) scheduled the first in a series of public workshops to discuss proposed regulatory concepts to limit emissions from transport refrigeration units (TRUs) operating in California.

CARB is requesting stakeholder comment on reducing emissions from stationary TRU operations. The agenda for the public workshop to launch development of California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) air pollution control measure on stationary operating time limits for transport refrigeration units is posted here.

The basic concept is to reduce the amount of stationary run time of time TRUs operate in a stationary mode while powered by internal combustion engines on fossil fuel at certain California locations.

The regulation in development is described in California Air Resources Board (CARB) Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Discussion Draft document. The proposed allowable operating time limit for TRUs would decrease over three phases:

  • Phase I: 24 hours, effective January 1, 2020
  • Phase II: 1 hour, effective January 1, 2022
  • Phase III: 5 minutes, effective January 1, 2025

The workshop is on April 13 at 10 am Pacific time. The workshop will be webcast and questions/comments will be accepted by email during the webcast.

Further information the workshop and pending rule-making activities are posted on CARB’s Cold Storage Control Measure for TRUs Website.  .

Reducing Refrigerated Transport Cost with Shore Power Electric Standby

Reefer fleets across the country are electrifying. Learn how to reduce refrigerated transport operating costs by 40 to 70% by eliminating wasteful diesel fuel burn while stationary. Hear from industry experts on best practices and technologies to operate refrigerated trailers and trucks on electric grid-powered temperature control instead of using diesel fuel while parked at loading docks, yard parking, and staging areas at distribution centers, refrigerated warehouses, and food manufacturing plants.


John Thornton, Energy Advisor, Northwest Food Processors Association / Principal, CleanFuture, Inc.


Alan Bates, Vice President, Shorepower Technologies

Kevin Downing, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

John Thornton, Principal Consultant, CleanFuture, Inc.

Kevin Williams, Region Director – West, Carrier Transicold

Register here for a workshop on January 11, 2016 at the Northwest Food & Beverage Manufacturers EXPO & Conference.

Refrigerated Transportation Best Practices

Experts Bud Rodowick, Don Durm, and Dr. Patrick Brecht will be discussing the highly anticipated International Refrigerated Transportation Association Guide to Refrigerated Transportation. The speakers will address compliance proposals from multiple Food Safety Modernization Act rules that require further clarification of their definition to determine what specifically needs to be identified as a “Best Practice” procedure for each of them. Join this session to discuss the evolution of these processes, and have your questions about how compliance requirements will affect all responsible entities answered.

Dr. Patrick Brecht, President, PEB Commodities
Bud Rodowick, Strategic Relations – Food Safety and OEMs, Thermo King
Donald Durm, Director of Strategic Customer Solutions, PLM Trailer Leasing

Register here for a workshop on January 11, 2016 at the Northwest Food & Beverage Manufacturers EXPO & Conference.

TRU Regulatory Concepts Identified in CARB Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions

Proposed new rules for transport refrigeration units (TRUs) are described in the California Air Resources Board (CARB) Sustainable Freight: Pathways to Zero and Near-Zero Emissions Discussion Draft document:


Appendix D:

B. Zero Emission Requirements
5. Transport Refrigeration Units

Action Description: Develop and propose a regulatory requirement to prohibit the use of fossil-fueled transport refrigeration units for cold storage in phases, with incentive support for infrastructure.

ARB Action: 2016

ARB Implementation: 2020+

Type of Action: ARB Regulation and Incentive

Overview: Transport refrigeration units are refrigeration systems that are powered by integral internal combustion engines designed to control the environment of temperature-sensitive products that are transported in trucks, trailers, railcars and shipping containers. They may be capable of cooling or heating. Products include, but are not limited to food, pharmaceuticals, plants, medicines, blood, chemicals, photographic film, art work, satellites, and explosives. This regulation would address several transport refrigeration unit uses that result in excessive criteria pollutant and GHG emissions, such as:

  • Use of transport refrigeration unit-equipped trailers at distribution centers and retail delivery points (e.g. grocery stores) for cold storage during the weeks before holidays and major events (e.g. Super Bowl) when the facility runs out of cold storage space.
  • Operation of transport refrigeration units in distribution centers yards and outside the distribution centers gates while waiting for an available loading dock space, for manpower to be available to unload goods, or for dispatch or driver pick-up. Such operations can go on for several days (e.g. load up on Friday for dispatch on Monday).

The initial concepts of the proposed regulation would limit the amount of time that a transport refrigeration system powered by a fossil-fueled internal combustion engine can operate at any facility. The time limit decreases over time.

  • Phase I: 24 hours, effective January 1, 2020
  • Phase II: 1 hours, effective January 1, 2022
  • Phase III: 5 minutes, effective January 1, 2025

Use of zero emission all-electric plug-in transport refrigeration systems, hydrogen fuel cell transport refrigeration, and cryogenic transport refrigeration would be encouraged, as well as adequately-sized cold storage facilities, and more efficient appointment scheduling.

Applicable compliance includes plugging in hybrid-electric TRUs, electric standby TRUs, all-electric refrigerated trailers, and shipping containers into shore power with grid-supplied electricity instead of conventional diesel engine-powered TRUs while parked.

Mobilizing Industry: Energy Intensity Reduction Goal Setting for Competitiveness

One of the keys to the food processing industry’s ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace is its ability to use energy efficiently. Members of the Northwest Food Processors Association recognized the competitive benefits of pursuing energy efficiency and became the first industry group in the nation to establish an aggressive energy intensity reduction goal.

This paper describes the process to mobilize the regional food processing industry to set an industry-wide energy intensity goal. It also highlights the establishment and characterization of an industry-wide baseline, and progress to date toward achieving the goal. Barriers will also be identified as well as recommendations to overcome those barriers and lessons learned along the way.

Read more….


Barrow, Pamela and John Thornton. 2013. “Mobilizing Industry: Energy Intensity Reduction Goal Setting for Global Competitiveness.” In Proceedings of the ACEEE 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, 5:1-14, Washington, D.C.: American Council for an Energy- Efficient Economy.

Collaboration Across Organizational Boundaries: A Successful Model of Industry Sharing to Build Competitiveness


Thornton, John, et al. 2013. “Collaboration Across Organizational Boundaries: A Successful Model of Industry Sharing to Improve Competitiveness.” In Proceedings of the ACEEE 2013 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry, 6:1-13, Washington, D.C.: American Council for an Energy- Efficient Economy.

Drive Oregon and Oregon Innovation Plan recommended for investment by legislators

Yesterday the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development passed SB 5528, the biennial budget for “Business Oregon,” the Oregon Business Development Department. The Budget now heads to the full Ways and Means Committee for consideration.
The budget includes some key provisions to support major opportunities to lower Oregon’s stubbornly high unemployment and lagging personal income levels. These include:

The Oregon Innovation Plan

The Oregon Innovation Plan is now in its third round of funding and has delivered impressive results for the state. The Subcommittee allocated sixteen million dollars this biennium for the Innovation Plan, a suite of initiatives to enhance industry innovation and the commercialization of research. The funding will go toward three industry initiatives and three signature research centers. The industry initiatives include improving innovation and productivity in the food processing industry (IPC) ($500k), catalyzing Oregon’s emerging electric vehicle industry through Drive Oregon ($1.2 million), and putting Oregon on the map for wave energy development and manufacturing through Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) ($2.5 million). The Signature Research Centers include the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnology Institute (ONAMI) ($5.3 million), Oregon Built Environment and Sustainable Technologies Center (BEST) ($3.8 million) and the Oregon Translational Drug Institute (OTRADI) ($2.8 million).

In the midst of a historic recession, the Oregon Innovation Plan developed by the Oregon Innovation Council has been successful at incubating new ideas into growing businesses, helping established industries become more competitive and creating a new economic future for all Oregonians. In less than four years of state funding, the six initiatives of the Oregon Innovation Plan have brought $195 million in federal and private grants back to Oregon and are on track to generate more than $7 for every dollar the legislature has invested, not to mention the creation of 1117 jobs and the incubation of 15 new companies.

For more details on how the funding will be used, visit

Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit coming to Portland

3rd Annual Northwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit

Bringing industries and partners together to support and advance industrial energy efficiency

Find out how your industry peers use energy efficiency as a competitive advantage.  Hear real-life energy savings success stories (and challenges) from industry personnel.  Case study examples include:  Strategic Energy Management; Quick Starts to Energy Efficiency; Emerging Applications of Existing Technology; and Energy Information Systems.

Network with companies who are implementing energy efficiency programs and projects; share and lean from their experiences.

Connect with energy services providers about technical and financial opportunities to help you save energy.

You should attend if you are involved in plant operations, plant engineering, energy management, sustainable practices, energy efficiency programs, services or products, or are interested in industrial energy efficiency.

Date:  January 19, 2011

Location:  Oregon Convention Center – 777 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97232

See here for additional information about the Energy Summit or send an email