Port expands initiatives advancing zero and near-zero emission cargo-handling equipment and smart technology further reducing truck pollution

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – December 16, 2016 – The Port of Angeles has secured a $5.8 million state grant to purchase and test a new fleet of 25 zero and near-zero emission yard tractors at the Everport marine container terminal. The grant also will fund a companion project to equip 100 more drayage trucks with smart technology aimed at reducing emissions by streamlining their time on the road and improving the flow of containers to and from the port complex.

The Port was awarded the grant by the California Energy Commission (CEC), which supports freight transportation projects at California seaports under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The purpose is to advance commercialization of clean fuels and technologies that cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduce petroleum use and improve the health and quality of life of communities disproportionately burdened by environmental pollution.

“This grant is a major opportunity for accelerating the next-generation solutions we and our partners are working on to transition to a zero-emission Port,” said Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We’re eager to launch both projects and expedite the clean air benefits to our region, our industry and those around the globe looking to California, Los Angeles and our Port to lead the way in creating a more sustainable future.”

Over the next three years, the Port and its partners will demonstrate the new yard equipment and smart technology and track their operational efficiency, viability, reduction of GHG emissions and other key pollutants, and fuel savings. Results are expected in 2018.

The Port is partnering with Everport Terminal Services to test 25 off-road tractors powered by either electricity or liquefied natural gas (LNG) by incorporating them into the daily operations of the 205-acre marine container terminal. Other partners in the zero and near-zero emissions yard tractor project, which will receive more than $4.8 million of the CEC funding, are:

  • BYD Motors Inc., providing four new electrified yard tractors and retrofitting an existing electric tractor built by Balqon Corp.
  • Capacity Trucks, providing 20 near-zero emission yard tractors with LNG-powered engines manufactured by Cummins Westport Inc.
  • Harbor Diesel and Equipment Inc., an authorized Capacity Trucks dealer.
  • Clean Energy Fuels Corp., providing renewable natural gas and mobile fueling equipment.

The remainder of the grant, nearly $1 million, is supporting ongoing large-scale testing of smart technology. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is already testing an intermodal logistics information technology system designed to improve drayage and container handling. This system, termed the Freight Advanced Traveler Information System (FRATIS), is being developed by Productivity Apex Inc.

FRATIS is a sophisticated intelligent transportation system that analyzes data from multiple sources to come up with the most efficient schedule, route and container information for drivers, dispatchers and cargo owners Specific technologies that are being tested include: real-time traffic information being obtained from the California Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro); automated ETA messaging to the terminals one day in advance of truck arrival; and deployment of an algorithm which will optimize drayage throughout the day and region.

The system is designed to reduce travel times inside and outside the terminals, which in turn reduces congestion, emissions and fuel consumption. The demonstration phase of the existing project involves 200 trucks and several trucking companies, and will commence in early 2017.

The CEC grant allows the Port to expand FRATIS by adding 100 more trucks to the pool in the ongoing demonstration. Termed Eco-FRATIS, the state-funded component also enhances the project by supporting integration of the following new technologies:

  • Geostamp: Harbor Trucking Association/InfoMagnus application, which tracks real-time truck travel and terminal turn times via an automated mobile smart device app.
  • ECO-Drive: University of California, Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technologyapp, which uses traffic signal timing information to optimize acceleration/deceleration of trucks.
    The Eco-FRATIS demonstration will commence in late 2017, with design commencing in early 2017.

Matching support, made up of in-kind contributions from all partners for both projects and $240,000 from Metro for Eco-FRATIS, totals nearly $2.86 million. With the CEC grant, the total investment is about $8.7 million (not including the DOT’s ongoing investment in FRATIS).

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovatively strategic and sustainable operations that benefit Southern California’s economy and quality of life. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $270 billion in trade during 2015. Port operations and commerce facilitate more than 133,000 jobs (about one in 14) in the City of Los Angeles and 479,000 jobs (or one in 18) in the five-county Southern California region. The San Pedro Bay Ports support nearly 1 million California jobs and 2.8 million nationwide.