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You IN, You are OUT! By GSB Student Eunmi Choi

A warm welcome to our next guest blogger, Ms. Eunmi Choi. Eunmi is currently pursuing a dual degree of an MBA, with a concentration in Management, and a Master in Science of Information System Management (Candidate of 2011).  She is a president of Net Impact (Loyola University Chicago Graduate School of Business Chapter). Net Impact is a non-profit international organization that seeks to educate and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.  Eunmi is interested in the Supply Chain Management field to study a solution-focused approach about to how to maximize the triple bottom line, People, planet, and profit.

Trucking Industry’s claim against Los Angeles Port’s (L.A. port) clean truck program got rejected this late Thursday. Los Angeles Port, one of the biggest, busiest ports in the nation, was served by trucking industry. Trucking industry argued that L.A. port is violating the federal law in regulating trucking companies doing business at L.A. port. Since 2008 when L.A. port launched “Clean Truck Program”, trucking companies faced a difficulty in meeting requirements that L.A. port applied to trucking companies.  Specially, small trucking companies have long complained about the program because one of the requirements to get in the port is to use full-time employed truck drivers rather than independent truck drivers. Also small companies do not have capital to replace their fleets to low-emission vehicles which cost about $150,000 (Port of L.A. pays to clean up trucks that do not use port of L.A., Brian Doherty, May24, 2010, www.reason.com). Despite immediate threats to trucking companies, the program has been successful and the result of the program is undeniable.

Clean Truck Program was designed to improve Environment, to stabilize operation and supply of trucks and drivers, and to enhance safety and security.  Two big initiatives are banning on the dirtiest trucks to enter and financing the replacement of old trucks with low-emission vehicles. Before program started, residents and truck drivers around L.A. port were in a danger of health condition because of diesel exhaust pollution from trucks and other vehicles at L.A. port.  2006 Clean Air Action Plan brought labor unions, environmental organizations and community group (Apollo News Service) together to create the program.  Accordingly, LA Clean Truck Program was the first program that uses both regulations and incentives to motivate throughout the phases.

Environmentally, the program is leading to reduce the emission by 30 tons per year and remarkably since its inception, 70 percent has been reduced. There are already 6,600 clean trucks in operation. Natural gas is used, hybrid and electric trucks are in place (Apollo News Service). Social benefits also should be addressed. Local community is gradually released from air pollution. It reduces potential health expense. Economically, the program has a positive impact on the boast of clean technology innovation and increases in sales. Furthermore, the program creates jobs by ruling requirement for full time employed truckers and possibly creates new business in local to support any stages of operation system at the port.

New change initiatives take transition time, money, and effort. L.A. port’s solution to the environmental and health issue was much more urgent than trucking industry’s claim was. L.A. port has been released from a big challenge they faced with their big participant for port business. Now, trucking companies have to find a way to meet rules to sustain business. In a long term, L.A. Port initiatives’ success will be a good example to other ports to learn and study to implement to their port. It was very interesting to see how differently stakeholders roles out in change initiatives.

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