Longview port purchases used fuel truck amid excess demand

Longview port purchases used fuel truck amid excess demand

Reasonably priced fuel trucks are being bought almost as soon as they come on the market, a port official told commissioners Wednesday, driving the approval of a $243,000 used 2014 fuel truck despite hopes to have the newest equipment.

The 2014 Freightliner Coronado fuel truck is an essential part of port business and more specifically its transportation of combustible and flammable materials, according to Port of Longview’s Board of Commissioners documents.

The truck the port bought Wednesday cost $243,765, holds 4,500 gallons across its five compartments and will not come with a warranty. The price tag listed in the board documents does not include delivery costs, since the truck will be transported from California.

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While buying trucks new is ideal, it’s also complicated, said Mark Price, the port’s director of marine terminals.

“They have been extremely hard to find,” Price said. “They sell almost as fast as they go on the market.”

The National Automobile Dealers Association reports sales of Class 8 trucks increased 18% in December 2022 compared December 2021, setting an all-time monthly high. The demand for such heavy duty trucks has outpaced supply, forcing buyers to turn to used vehicles and driving up prices.

Finding new equipment has continued to affect industries like ports, Price said, which handle thousands of tons of cargo on a regular basis.

The pandemic-era cargo and supply chain issues clogged ports across the country, port officials have previously said, which meant materials that manufacture new equipment were in higher demand but shorter supply.

Port used 2014 fuel truck

Commissioners have OK’d the purchase of a used 2014 fuel truck, which officials say is the best they can do in a market that has too much demand for the short supply of the newest equipment.

Port of Woodland Executive Director Jennifer Wray-Keene told The Daily News in 2021 they were struggling to get some of the parts for equipment they needed.

These issues have not yet had a visible economic impact on Port of Longview, which has seen an uptick in business and revenue since 2019, according to financial reports from the port. Commissioners approved a $56 million budget last year to help boost different projects and modernize the port’s infrastructure.

A hired third party inspected the truck before the purchase and saw no deficiencies, according to port documents. The purchase was supported by the local International Longshore & Warehouse Union chapter.

Sydney Brown is a news reporter for The Daily News covering education and environmental issues in Cowlitz County.