Environment Forum

Major California port sees greener trucks

January 5, 2010

cleantruckOne of California’s biggest ports has cleaned up its fleet of 8,000 trucks.

The Port of Long Beach has cut nearly 80 percent of emissions from truck engines at the port since it started its ban of old diesel-fueled trucks. That’s roughly 200 tons less of soot — known as particulate matter — in the air at the port annually.

In 2008, the port of Long Beach, together with its sister port in Los Angeles started to green their truck fleets, targeting trucks built before 1989. Together the ports make up the busiest cargo hub in the United States.

In 2010 the ban at Long Beach ramps up to prohibit trucks from 1993 and older, plus trucks from 1994 to 2003 that have not been updated with exhaust filters to meet strict emissions standards.

The move at Long Beach has drawn controversy from the trucking industry, but reflects a broader trend toward smart mobility and to make transport hubs around the world greener.

Now the port of Long Beach is dealing with its ships, trains and terminals to reduce pollution.

Over the next several years, the port is building an electrical system so that ships can plug in for power and turn off their engines. Currently cargo ships run their diesel engines for operations – such as keeping containers refrigerated — while at port. Long Beach is also looking at automated terminals to help reduce greenhouse gases, said Art Wong, a spokesman at the port.

 (Photo:  The port of Long Beach sees progress on its program for cleaner trucks that it started in 2008 with its sister port in Los Angeles. Photo credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)

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