Owens & Minor announced today a new pilot program that uses an electric semi-truck to deliver large-scale medical products and PPE to hospitals in Southern California. In collaboration with Penske Logistics and Penske Truck Leasing, the seven-month pilot program launched in the second quarter. Through the pilot, Owens & Minor has deployed heavy-duty battery electric Freightliner eCascadia from Daimler Trucks North America. The initiative builds upon Owens & Minor’s ongoing commitment to increasing sustainability across operations as outlined in its recently published 2020 Environmental Social Governance Report.
“Every day, Owens & Minor’s core Mission is Empowering Our Customers to Advance Healthcare. In doing so, we maintain a focus on protecting and supporting the communities where people live and work,” said Jeff Jochims, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and President, Medical Distribution at Owens & Minor. “We believe sustainability remains foundational to our Mission. By launching this electric vehicle pilot program for large-scale delivery to hospitals, we are pushing the envelope of what can be done to support healthcare while helping to facilitate a safer and healthier environment.”
The electric Freightliner eCascadia runs five days per week along a 152-mile total route making stops at five hospital locations throughout Southern California.
“It was an easy decision to launch this pilot program with our longstanding partner Owens & Minor, because we know the critical role that medical distribution plays in our country’s healthcare supply chain,” said Marc Althen, Penske Logistics President. “The integration into the fleet operations for Owens & Minor was seamless. We’re excited to extend our track record of safety, training, and positive driver experience with this new electric vehicle technology.”
In 2018, Penske Truck Leasing and Daimler Trucks North America announced a partnership to test commercial electric trucks from their Freightliner brand in real-world situations and drive future improvements to the technology. The venture is supported by the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD), whose $16.8 million grant helped fund the program. South Coast AQMD focuses on improving air quality in large portions of Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, including the Coachella Valley.