Freight News, Sea

LA’S Sustainability Committee Accelerates Clean Air Progress at Port of Los Angeles

[ July 5, 2017   //   ]

The Port of Los Angeles is expanding demonstration projects to test zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo handling equipment, thanks to a series of recommendations developed over the past year by the Sustainability Freight Advisory Committee. The Port is also collaborating more closely with its sister agency, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, to expedite clean tech infrastructure, as a result of the committee’s work.

Established by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, the 10-member board of industry labor, environmental, government and community leaders recently completed its one-year assignment to recommend specific strategies for speeding up clean air progress at the nation’s busiest container port while balancing its commercial and economic viability. Committee members met yesterday to deliver the final report to Mayor Garcetti and Port Executive Director Gene Seroka and offer to continue their work.

“This moment demands that we find innovative ways to reduce emissions at our port as quickly as possible — and that’s exactly why I brought the Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee together,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This group has embraced a difficult challenge with open arms, and its recommendations are important steps that bring us closer to our ambitious yet achievable goal of zero emissions at the Port of L.A.”

“The committee’s work is already shaping policy and strengthening current zero emission demonstration projects at our terminals,” said Port Executive Director Gene Seroka. “The recommendations are also a timely contribution to our update of the Clean Air Action Plan.”

Throughout the process, the committee posted summaries of each monthly meeting and every recommendation on the Port’s Sustainable Progress website. Members also worked closely with Port officials and the mayor’s staff to act on each recommendation.

As a result, the Port is moving forward with the following initiatives:


  • Testing zero emission top handlers: Acting on the committee’s first recommendation last fall, the Port secured state funding to test two battery-electric top handlers, the off-road heavy-duty equipment used to load and unload trucks hauling containers in and out of marine terminals. The $4.5 million grant from the California Energy Commission also will fund testing of three next-generation yard tractors.


  • Expanding zero emission drayage truck testing: Acting on another committee recommendation, the Port is developing a pilot program to test 50-100 zero emission drayage trucks to better assess the requirements needed to transition to a 100 percent zero emission drayage truck fleet by 2035. The pending CAAP update, which is due to be released July 19 for public review and comment, is expected to include the program.


  • Coordinating the port industry to work with equipment manufacturers: The committee recommended the mayor and Port take the lead in coordinating with multiple ports to study the current and future availability of zero and near-zero emission vehicles and equipment. The recommendation shaped the Green Ports Collaborative, announced June 6 by Mayor Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. Under this initiative, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will rally their U.S. counterparts to evaluate the demand for zero emission vehicles and equipment and work with manufacturers. The initiative will also pursue common environmental standards.

Other strategies the Port is advancing based on the committee’s recommendations include opening a large near-dock peel-off yard, accelerating use of LED lights port-wide, and assessing opportunities to deploy zero and near-zero cargo handling equipment at all terminals. All recommendations are detailed in the final report.

The committee was guided by the CAAP, which has achieved unprecedented air quality gains, and the mayor’s Sustainable City pLAn, which sets a 2025 goal of using zero emission technology to power at least 15 percent of goods movement trips. The committee also worked within the framework of the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan, whose 2030 goals include reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels.

The Sustainable Freight Advisory Committee has volunteered to continue working collaboratively to monitor the progress of its recommendations and identify additional emission reduction strategies.