Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seven Maritime Firms Honored by SoCal Ports for Green Efforts

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have selected seven local maritime and cargo companies as this year's recipients of the Clean Air Action Plan Air Quality Awards.

This year's recipients, ranging from ocean carriers to terminal operators to trucking firms, were cited for "taking extraordinary measures" to cut air emissions, modernize facilities and implement innovative operations to reduce air pollution.

"These partners have shown a real commitment to cleaner and greener port operations, going above and beyond what is required," Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said.

"These awards highlight what can be achieved when entities join forces and embrace innovation to better the environment."

In congratulating the winners, Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard Steinke added, “The Clean Air Action Plan awards are a fantastic way to put a spotlight on the often times unheralded efforts of the goods movement industry to meet and exceed air quality goals, and to invent a better way to cleaner air for everyone."

The awards, now in their fourth year, were an outgrowth of the two ports' San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan in 2006. Tenants and other organizations that serve the ports are eligible to be nominated. The judging panel includes port staff, as well as representatives from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The trucking group Clean Truck Coalition, transportation firm Ability/Tri-Modal Transportation Services, and carrier Evergreen Line were each recipients in the award's "Air Quality Improvement Leadership at the Corporate Level" category.

The Clean Truck Coalition, a group of ten family-owned licensed motor carriers, created a partnership and “pooling agreement” that required its members to share information to better utilize their collective truck fleets. The group was also cited for investing $109 million in new equipment, including nearly 1,000 new diesel and liquefied natural gas trucks – representing about 11 percent of all new trucks at the San Pedro Bay Port complex.

Family-owned trucking warehouse and distribution firm Ability/Tri-Modal was cited for efforts over the past two years to replace its entire fleet of 51 drayage trucks with port-certified clean trucks, resulting in significant emission reductions.

Evergreen was cited for nearly a decade of corporate environmental efforts, including the addition of S-type “Greenships” into its fleet and participation in the Port of Los Angeles' Vessel Speed Reduction program.

In the "Innovative Operations that Improve Air Quality" category, carrier Hamburg Sud and terminal operator Yusen Terminals each received awards.

Hamburg Sud was cited for 100 percent compliant participation in the Port of Long Beach’s Green Flag vessel speed reduction program.

Yusen Terminals, which operates a terminal at the Port of Los Angeles, was cited for a number of innovative operational improvements to reduce emissions and increase efficiency, including restructuring its terminal traffic flow patterns to reduce the distance that trucks and workers need to travel to complete cargo pickups and drop-offs.

Ocean carrier NYK Line and marine transportation/towing firm Sause Bros. each received awards in the "Significant Early Action to Reduce Air Pollutant Emissions" category.

NYK, which calls at the Los Angeles port, was cited for its voluntary and accelerated compliance with a California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulation requiring ship-to-shore powering of vessels at dock by 2014.

Sause Bros., which provides marine transportation and ocean towing services at the two Southern California ports, was cited for repowering five of its harbor vessels and replacing 17 engines with cleaner, lower-emission technology – all well in advance of CARB requirement deadlines.