Vic La Rosa, who has been at the forefront of testing and adopting clean-truck technology at the southern California ports, has lost his battle with lung cancer, according to his company, Total Transportation Services Inc.
”It is with deep sadness and heavy heart that I inform you of the passing of our beloved Vic La Rosa, CEO, president, and co-founder,” wrote Bill Allen, EVP, COO, and co-founder, in a tribute on TTSI’s web site.
“Vic was a crusader; he fought for cleaner air quality and received numerous awards throughout his career. Our fleet of clean truck technologies are a tribute to Vic and his visions.”
Heavy Duty Trucking earlier this year named La Rosa an HDT Truck Fleet Innovator for his pioneering efforts to reduce the emissions of his drayage fleet. Back when the first efforts were happening to address truck pollution in the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach, he said, “We decided that the goalposts would continue to move until we get to zero [emissions]. So we figured, let’s shoot right now for zero.”
Since then, La Rosa has been evaluating natural gas (including renewable natural gas), battery-electric, and fuel-cell-electric vehicles in the TTSI fleet, from multiple manufacturers. He has won numerous awards and was heavily involved in organizations associated with trucking, ports, and sustainability.
Staying on Top of Industry Changes
La Rosa co-founded TTSI in 1986 with Bill Allen to provide a range of cross-nation and international freight services. As president, he drove the company to a peak of $100 million prior to the sale of the business in 2006.
He entered semi-retirement at this point, only to re-purchase the company six years later, following unsuccessful ownership by the acquirer. As CEO, according to the TTSI website, he created a sustainable growth model, restructuring operations, and taking into account significant industry changes before rebuilding the company to its previous status.
During TTSI's initial growth years, Vic leveraged the burgeoning “big box” boom to develop the import market sector of the organization. He built relationships with Fortune 100 companies, including Target and Amazon. He opened multiple divisions to support demand, including warehousing, brokerage, airfreight, L TL, FTL, heavy works, operations, port operations, and drayage.
Today, TTSI is one of the largest port drayage companies in the region and is leading the way in sustainability as a successful business model, according to the company.