A US$30.1m grant from the US Department of Transportation has been awarded to the Port of Long Beach in California to deploy the country’s largest fleet of manually operated, zero-emissions cargo handling equipment at a marine terminal.
The funding for the new clean-air project comes from the 2022 Port Infrastructure Development Program which is administered by the US Maritime Administration. Through the project, conventional diesel-powered yard tractors that carry out operations at the Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) will be replaced with approximately 60 electric, human-operated alternatives. Vehicles at the LBCT can move 3.3 million cargo container units each year.
The project will also involve building electric equipment charging stations with software to enhance energy efficiency. Furthermore, training will be given to operators and maintenance personnel to make cargo-handling operations within the terminal more efficient.
At present, around 17% of the cargo-handling equipment at the port is electrically powered; by 2030 the port aims to have an entirely zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment fleet.
“I want to thank our partners at the Department of Transportation for continuing to invest in the Port of Long Beach,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’ve made incredible progress through the Clean Air Action Plan, and this funding to expand the use of zero-emission equipment will continue to improve community health as we strengthen our supply chain.”
“We thank the federal government and in particular the Biden-Harris Administration, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, and Congressman Alan Lowenthal for this important funding to make operations even more sustainable and further eliminate port-related emissions,” said Sharon Weissman, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission.
“This project is a critical step along our path toward zero emissions, will support good-paying jobs, and reduce climate and air-quality impacts on nearby communities,” commented Mario Cordero, executive director of Port of Long Beach. “It is everything we strive for as the nation’s most sustainable seaport – moving cargo in a way that protects the health of our residents while ensuring our operations can continue to grow and support the economy.”