Ports of LA/Long Beach move ahead on zero emission mandate

According to port spokesmen, the document “provides high-level guidance for accelerating progress toward a zero-emission future” while protecting and strengthening the ports’ competitive position.

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The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach unanimously approved the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update yesterday, despite concerns voiced by logistics and supply chain specialists that the implementation may be unrealistic.

According to port spokesmen, the document “provides high-level guidance for accelerating progress toward a zero-emission future” while protecting and strengthening the ports’ competitive position.

The action sets in motion the process for developing and refining specific programs. The strategies include:

  • Identifying clean engine milestones for new trucks entering the port drayage registries and creating a rate structure and incentives that encourage faster turnover to near-zero and zero-emission trucks, with the goal of transitioning to a zero-emission on-road drayage fleet by 2035. 
  • Developing a universal truck reservation system, staging yards, intelligent transportation systems and other efficiency programs to reduce emissions while improving the flow of cargo. 
  • Beginning in 2020, requiring terminal operators to deploy zero-emission equipment, if feasible, or the cleanest equipment available when procuring new cargo-handling equipment, with the goal of transitioning all terminal equipment to zero emissions by 2030.
  • Developing infrastructure plans to support terminal equipment electrification, alternative fuels and other energy resource goals.
  • Expanding use of on-dock rail, with the long-term goal of moving 50 percent of all cargo leaving the ports by rail.

As the detailed implementation programs are developed, they will be brought to each port’s harbor commission for approval.

John McLaurin, president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, thanked the Port Commission for listening to shipper’s concerns.

“Progress was made in some key areas, specifically if the ports were to mandate a technology that has not yet been developed, tested, or made commercially available,” he said.

As noted in LM, the shipping community is concerned about the CAAP’s $14 billion cost and its potential negative impacts on port competitiveness and the one in nine jobs in the Southern California region that are reliant on the ports.

“As the CAAP is implemented, it will take open, honest and collaborative dialogue by all parties to address the feasibility of zero-emission cargo-handling equipment and to examine the ports ability to compete with other North American trade gateways,” said McLaurin.


 


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
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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