Port of Long Beach wins $30.1 million for clean air project

The Port of Long Beach is set to receive a $30.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation for its clean air project.

Under the project, the port plans to deploy the nation’s “largest fleet of manually operated, zero-emissions cargo handling equipment at a single marine terminal.” Specifically, a total of 60 electric, human-operated yard tractors will replace diesel yard tractors at Long Beach Container Terminal.

The project also includes construction of electric equipment charging stations with energy efficiency-enhancing software, training for operators and maintenance personnel, and installation of software equipment to streamline cargo-handling operations within the terminal.

Funding for the project comes from the 2022 Port Infrastructure Development Program, administered by the U.S. Maritime Administration.

“I want to thank our partners at the Department of Transportation for continuing to invest in the Port of Long Beach,” said 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.”

“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,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “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.”

The Port of Long Beach has set a goal of all zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment by 2030 and a zero-emissions drayage truck fleet by 2035. About 17% of the cargo-handling equipment at the port is electric-powered. In September, the Port announced that a trucking company partner will convert to fully zero-emissions by 2025 – 10 years before the 2035 goal. 

According to the port’s data, compared to 2005, the year before the Clean Air Action Plan was adopted, the port has reduced emissions of diesel particulate matter by 88%, nitrogen oxides by 49%, and sulfur oxides by 96%. 

Since 2021, the port has put in place a number of initiatives to further reduce air pollution, including the Clean Truck Fund Rate, which is generating funding for zero-emissions trucks, adopting an updated Green Ship Incentive Program that provides incentives for Tier III vessels, as well as funding demonstrations of vessel technologies capable of reducing ship-related emissions through the Port’s Technology Advancement Program.

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At the beginning of this year, the port signed on to the Shanghai-Los Angeles green shipping corridor, a partnership of C40 Cities, ports, shipping companies and cargo owners convened to create a zero-emissions transpacific trade route.

C40 Cities is a network of cities that are working to deliver the urgent action needed to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. The partnership intends to work together to achieve these goals by developing a “Green Shipping Corridor Implementation Plan” by the end of 2022 that will include deliverables, goals and interim milestones, and roles for participants.