NY-NJ Port to be First to Use Electric Straddle Carrier in the US

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

January 13, 2019

Pic:  The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Pic: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will conduct the first test at a U.S. port of an electric vehicle to move cargo containers by the end of this year.

According to a press release from the port authority, this initiative is to meet aggressive targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement.

A straddle carrier is a piece of terminal yard handling equipment that is used to move cargo containers by first straddling the container and then lifting it up and driving over the back of a truck to place the container on the chassis, in contrast to loading a container on the back of a truck from the side.

Under a partnership with the Port Authority, Maher Terminals has agreed to pilot test the all-electric straddle carrier for a year on its container terminal at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal to determine its operational and environmental benefits. It will be the first test of an all-electric straddle carrier anywhere in a United States port.

The one-year pilot test will explore the level of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced by the all-electric straddle carrier. By not emitting any tailpipe gases, this single all-electric straddle carrier will reduce greenhouse gases from the equivalent of 52 fewer passenger vehicles.

“We are proud to take a leadership role in reducing harmful emissions at our facilities to significantly improve air quality throughout the region and particularly in our host communities,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “The electrification of cargo handling equipment is one of many projects that clearly demonstrate our commitment to the agency’s sustainability goals.”

“This project signals our strong, unwavering commitment to reduce GHG emissions in the port as we strive to comply with Paris Climate Agreement emission reduction targets,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Last year, this agency became the first public transportation agency in the country to embrace the agreement, and we will continue to undertake initiatives that will reduce our own carbon footprint.”

“The electrification of cargo handling equipment is an essential component of our continued efforts to reduce emissions and our impact on air quality in and around the port district,” said Port Department Assistant Director Bethann Rooney. “By investing in this new technology, we will be a step closer in the agency’s sustainability goals.”

At its October 25, 2018 meeting, the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners unanimously embraced the Paris Climate Agreement. The resolution adopted by the Board called for a 35 percent reduction by 2025 in greenhouse gas emissions generated by the Port Authority’s own operations. The Board also reaffirmed the agency’s prior commitment to an 80-percent reduction by 2050.

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