Ports can be good “green” neighbors too

By Patrick Burnson · December 22, 2010

As noted in this column many times in the past, seaports are key to any sustainable economic recovery in this country.

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) is right to point out that critical components of these “economic engines” are the diesel engines that power the ports’ cargo-handling equipment, drayage trucks and harbor craft, such as tugs, towboats and ferries. ?

Yet, diesel engines often contribute to reduced air quality, as older engines emit higher levels of particulate matter (PM) and oxides of nitrogen (NOX) than do newer technologies. As larger vessels enter U.S. waters bringing more cargo, ports must expand their landside operations to accommodate this growth, resulting in greater truck and rail traffic to and from the ports and increases in equipment used to load and unload cargo.

While increasing trade yields tremendous economic benefits, America’s public port agencies strive to both meet the nation’s commerce needs and be good stewards of the coastal environment, and have used DERA grants to reduce emissions in some of the country’s most densely populated areas.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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