Port of Los Angeles, Swift Transportation reach settlement over US$11.8M grant port earmarked for truck replacements; Swift to repay US$4M for failing to meet required number of trips to port annually

GRAIN VALLEY, Missouri , February 22, 2012 () – The Port of Los Angeles and Swift Transportation have reached a settlement over the mega-carrier’s $11.8 million grant grab from the port to purchase new trucks.

In 2010, the port revealed that only 30 percent of the 2,000 trucks purchased with port money had made the required 300 trips per year. At that time, nearly 400 trucks purchased with the port money hadn’t made a single trip to the port.

Swift will pay the port $4 million, confirmed Phillip Sanfield, Los Angeles port spokesman.

“We’re pleased the Los Angeles Harbor Commission approved the settlement between the port and Swift,” Sanfield said. “The settlement avoids any potential for a costly and protracted legal battle.”

Swift received $11.8 million from the port’s Truck Replacement Program. That’s the most received of any company in the Truck Replacement Program during its first round of funding, which totaled $44 million.

Last year, the port revised its truck grant program to require 150 port trips annually for five years as opposed to 300.

Swift owned 428 trucks purchased with port money that hadn’t made 150 trips. The amount of money Swift owed the port was estimated to grow from nearly $4 million to $6.4 million if the trucking company continued to miss its required port visits.

Swift will remain a concessionaire, Sanfield said.

The California Air Resources Board provided about $220 million in incentives and grants for port drayage trucks, while the Port of Los Angeles has provided about $100 million for incentives and operating costs tied to the Clean Trucks Program.

The hefty grants and incentives have been criticized by many, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.

The port has said the entirety of the port’s $2.2 billion Clean Truck Program isn’t likely to be fully funded “due to the unprecedented response in the private sector investing in clean trucks on their own dime,” a port spokesman told Land Line Magazine.

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