Dutch port and container terminal operator APM Terminals and Dubai-based logistics company DP World have joined forces to push for acceleration of the electrification of port operations.
The two companies say they’ve identified a “tipping point” for battery-electric container handling equipment (CHE) that could be reached within the next two to eight years.
A roadmap for net-zero port operations within eight years is part of an industry White Paper commissioned by APM Terminals and developed by Systemiq and ZEnMo. It's been endorsed by Eurogate, Port of Kalundborg and Smart Freight Centre.
“Let me be clear: we need to accelerate our work in decarbonisation, and we need to do it now,” says APM Terminals chief executive officer Keith Svendsen.
“I am happy to say the research we conducted … strongly backs that a tipping point for the electrification for [CHE] is within reach in this decade.
“We are now calling for action for the entire port ecosystem to accelerate towards this milestone. It is important for us to stand together, take concrete action with several industry partners for this to happen.”
CHE is a critical enabler of port operations and is used to move containers on and off ships across the world’s 940 container ports. In 2020, the global fleet of CHE enabled the transportation of 815 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), with a total value of USD8.1 trillion.
Estimated at 100,000-120,000 units, the global CHE fleet is responsible for 10-15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum.
The White Paper found the challenges hampering the uptake of battery-electric CHE can be mostly overcome.
The document identifies key levers and related actions that can be taken by the players across the value chain including terminal operators, original equipment makers (OEMs), port authorities, affiliated government entities and shipping line operators.
"Battery-electric equipment in ports is a realistic, achievable and affordable way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” says DP World chief operating officer of ports and terminals Tiemen Meester.
“Throughout my career I've seen many industry players talk about various methods for achieving net-zero but I've never been so convinced by one tactic's ability to accelerate decarbonisation.
"It is my sincere hope that the findings in the White Paper can be used by the entire industry to galvanise real change with electric CHEs."