Port of Long Beach testing new equipment with potential to lessen emissions

Ships dock at the Port of Long Beach’s Pier A at sunset.

The Port of Long Beach announced Tuesday, Feb. 25 that it will be testing a new form of zero emissions equipment, called top handlers, at two of its shipping terminals to see if they can handle the daily rigors of the port.

“At Long Beach Container Terminal, electric vehicles move containers from the ship to the sorting yard, where electric stacking cranes ready them for pick up,” LBCT President Anthony Otto said. “Seeing what it takes to add an electric top-handler to make our groundbreaking operations even greener is something we’re very interested in, and we’re happy to be part of this collaborative project.”

The Long Beach Container Terminal and SSA Marine at Pier J terminal will have Taylor battery-electric top handlers installed for about six months. One top handler will be located at the Long Beach Container Terminal, and two at SSA Marine at Pier J. The vehicles will be operated by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

“We expect these battery-electric top handlers to be able to make it through the daily two-shift cycle before needing a recharge,” Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero said. “We’re eager to see the advancements in technology that come from this demonstration, and what it means for the commercialization of this equipment.”

The top handlers are being tested for the first time as part of the Port of Long Beach’s Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology Demonstration Project (C-PORT)

The project’s goal is to use Long Beach’s position as the country’s second-busiest seaport to test new zero-emissions vehicles that can be used to meet the port’s goal of having a zero-emissions cargo handling fleet by 2030.

“This is an important step for the port’s transformation to zero-emissions,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal said. “The partnership we see at the Port of Long Beach between the goods-movement industry, equipment manufacturers and agencies like CARB is the way we will reach our zero-emissions goals.”

The project is also part of California Climate Investments, an initiative that uses billions of dollars from cap-and-trade-practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California, in order to strengthen the economy, improve the environment and public health, especially of disadvantaged communities.


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