Zero Emission Port Alliance launched at COP28

The Netherlands-based terminal operator APM Terminals and the UAE-based port developer and operator DP World have formed the Zero Emission Port Alliance (ZEPA), an industry-wide strategic coalition aiming to accelerate the journey to zero emissions for container handling equipment (CHE) at ports.


The alliance is expected to start its activities in early 2024.

As informed, ZEPA membership is open to all industry participants, including terminal operators, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), port authorities and government entities.

During the session to announce the alliance at COP28, APM Terminals and DP World explained that ZEPA will work to increase industry-wide adoption of battery-electric CHE and catalyze further emissions reductions at ports.

The focus on battery-electric container handling equipment (BE-CHE) is grounded in a research published in a white paper in October 2023. The white paper is commissioned jointly by APM Terminals and DP World. The findings show that it is possible for BE-CHE to become as or more competitive than diesel CHE as it becomes more affordable, attractive, and accessible. The point where this happens can occur in the next two to eight years, but only with focused collective action by the entire port ecosystem.

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ZEPA’s work focuses on four key workstream objectives to overcome challenges in affordability and accessibility:

  • Encourage scaled-up production capacity of BE-CHE by manufacturers & reduce product costs
  • Bring down the cost of batteries and charging solutions, simplify implementation and increase equipment interoperability
  • Ensure terminal operators and the grid infrastructure are ready for BE-CHE & shore power roll-out
  • Create better implementation conditions for zero-emission fleets and help accelerate the adoption of zero-emission CHE.

ZEPA members will inform the work program and deliverables based on their practical experience and needs. Through their membership, companies will accelerate the availability of affordable BE-CHE and will benefit from advantages gained from having a seat at the table in this industry-wide collective action.

ZEPA is governed to work in compliance with antitrust/competition laws and to foster transparency about the process and progress of its activities. Key findings will be accessible to the whole industry, not just ZEPA members, according to DP World and APM Terminals.

“Our industry is in a strong position to drive real, meaningful change to decarbonise ports, and I believe the launch of the Zero Emission Port Alliance is a vital step in the right direction. It is apt for us to launch ZEPA at COP28 where so many significant conversations are taking place to achieve net zero. Today’s launch is a catalyst for collective decarbonisation action across the port industry and a signal to all our colleagues that we are serious about combatting climate change,” Jack Craig, Global Head of Technical, APM Terminals, said.

“Collective, industry-wide action is needed to achieve affordable and attractive battery-electric CHE that can be used globally. The Zero Emission Port Alliance is a results-driven coalition with a clear focus, set-up to support and deliver tangible short-term action. I truly believe we are capable of driving the change needed to make port electrification happen. Whilst ZEPA is only at the beginning of the work it has set out to do, I’m confident in the dedication shown by the founding members, and the interest from other industry stakeholders. All involved in terminal operations must play their role in realising zero emission ports,” Tiemen Meester, COO of Ports & Terminals, DP World, commented.