By Mark Edward Nero
The Port of Los Angeles said Dec. 16 that it 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 is also expected to 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 POLA was awarded the grant by the California Energy Commission, which supports freight transportation projects at California seaports under its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, whose 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.
The port is partnering with Everport Terminal Services to test 25 off-road tractors powered by either electricity or liquefied natural gas by incorporating them into the daily operations of the 205-acre marine container terminal.
Over the next three years, the port says it 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.
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., which is 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, and.;
• Clean Energy Fuels Corp., providing renewable natural gas and mobile fueling equipment.
The remainder of the grant, almost $1 million, is to support ongoing large-scale testing of smart technology known as FRATIS, the port says.
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; automated ETA messaging to the terminals one day in advance of truck arrival; and deployment of an algorithm which would optimize drayage throughout the day and region.
The system is designed to reduce travel times inside and outside the terminals, which in turn would reduce congestion, emissions and fuel consumption. The demonstration phase of the existing project involves 200 trucks and several trucking companies, and is expected to commence in early 2017.