As part of its commitment to transition to zero-emissions operations, the Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif., will use a $5.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Sacramento, Calif., to deploy hydrogen- and electric-powered cargo handling equipment at two shipping terminals.

The funds for the Commercialization of POLB Off-Road Technology Demonstration Project (C-PORT) leverage the Port of Long Beach as what will be dubbed the nation’s second-busiest seaport to test the viability of zero-emissions vehicles used on the docks. The demonstration project is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy and improve public health and the environment — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The demonstration will include three cargo-moving vehicles known as “top handlers” with never-before-tested battery-electric systems. The project will also feature a unique, head-to-head comparison of hydrogen fuel cell vs. battery-electric technology in yard trucks. In total, five vehicles will be demonstrated—two battery-electric top handlers at SSA Marine’s Pacific Container Terminal at Pier J; and one fuel cell yard tractor, one battery-electric top handler and one battery-electric yard tractor at Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier E.

“The progress we’ve made in reducing pollution is a model for seaports everywhere, with diesel emissions alone down almost 90% since we adopted the Clean Air Action Plan in 2005,” says Lou Anne Bynum, president of Harbor Commission. “Still, we are not satisfied. This equipment will further contribute to a cleaner environment for our neighboring communities.”

“Our partnerships with the California Air Resources Board and other agencies provide crucial funding for these vital demonstration projects as we work to create a zero-emissions seaport,” says Mario Cordero, executive director of Port of Long Beach.

The equipment is expected to begin the demonstration next year. As part of the project, information about the demonstration will also be integrated into the coursework at the Port-sponsored Academy of Global Logistics at Cabrillo High School, Long Beach, Calif., to support education and workforce development for new port technologies.