Innovative Solutions for the Challenge of WAIRE Compliance in California

April 22, 2024

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At the entrance of a massive 400,000 square-foot warehouse in California’s San Bernardino Valley, the gate supervisor of a warehouse management company uses a standard-issue cell phone with an app installed that allows scanning the VIN of a semi-truck as it enters the yard. Instantly, a table of data appears on the screen, and the supervisor waves the driver through.

The information that the warehouse management company gathers is for a relatively new California environmental requirement called WAIRE, or the Warehouse Actions and Investments to Reduce Emissions Rule.

WAIRE was implemented in 2019 by South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) in order to meet California’s increasingly strict environmental standards, as well as reduce the negative health effects that indirectly cost the state tens of millions of dollars a year.

Warehouse owners and operators who have at least 100,000 square feet must provide the total number of vehicles in and out of their facilities, including the vehicle class, fuel type, exact date and time of entry, and a total of 12 data points that indicate the different types of vehicle emissions.

They have to tabulate and submit this extensive data at risk of penalties of up to $10,000 per day from the state. Points can be accrued based on the types of vehicles and their lower emissions, but that requires oversight of the warehouse traffic.

South Coast AQMD, the California entity managing the initiative, is ultimately trying to reduce emissions. The first step is to get companies reporting the data from the source, at the warehouses, so they can give them the benefits of making improvements to their fleet.

“About half of the air pollutants that contribute to smog come from the goods movement industry, with the largest source being heavy-duty trucks heading to warehouses across Southern California,” said South Coast AQMD. “After many years of development, the warehouse rule is a major step towards reducing air pollution and protecting the millions of people directly impacted by this type of pollution.”

Many warehouse owners have ignored the regulation, pushed it down the road, or even tried to use systems that didn’t provide the complete data, and they may run into challenges when being audited.

“It was just too difficult to collect the data manually,” said the warehouse management company’s representative. “But then we found the Babaco Fulfillment app – there’s really no other way to get the data we need in such a simple way.”

Babaco Fulfillment, was one of the early WAIRE solutions innovators and is providing all of the California requirements in an easy-to-use format.

The warehouse supervisor added, “With a quick scan at the gate, the Babaco Fulfillment app automatically gathers the truck data and compiles all of the WAIRE requirements we need. There’s no doubt it will save an incredible amount of time and it will reduce our fees at the end of the year. They also helped us import all of our previous data so we will have a full yearly report.”

According to Babaco Fulfillment, which also provides other standalone modules like Digital CTPAT Container Inspections, Seal Discrepancy Reports, and Digital Driver Logs, the best place to start is by going to WAIRE Connect, where you can request a free demo. Or you can get more information at their WAIRE Resource Center. They offer a 30-day free trial so warehouses can get the process in place before onboarding all their facilities. If your company is a 3PL, there are custom options to manage and capture each of your customers’ data separately.