APM Terminals and DP World, two major players in the port industry, have jointly unveiled an ambitious initiative focused on fast-tracking the decarbonization of port terminals worldwide. Their strategy hinges on the widespread electrification of container handling equipment (CHE), an integral component of port operations.
Recent research suggests that a tipping point for battery-electric CHE adoption could be reached in the next 2-8 years, provided industry stakeholders take prompt action. This comprehensive plan, detailed in an industry white paper identifies key steps for various value chain participants, including terminal operators, OEMs, port authorities, government entities, and shipping line operators.
“Essentially, what we want is to provide a healthier, cleaner, and more efficient workplace for the thousands working at the terminals and living in the communities around them. And while electrification of of the container handling equipment is one piece of the puzzle, we believe it is one piece that can be addressed relatively easier and faster than others if we work together and avoid unnecessary complexity,”Sahar Rashidbeigi, Global Head of Decarbonization at APM Terminals.
The current global fleet of CHE, responsible for transporting USD 8.1 trillion worth of goods in 2020, emits 10-15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The research highlights the potential for battery-electric CHE to become an affordable and attractive alternative to diesel-powered equipment in the near future, but only with immediate industry action.
Tiemen Meester, COO of Ports & Terminals at DP World, stresses that battery-electric equipment is a realistic and affordable solution for significantly reducing carbon emissions and he hopes findings presented in the White Paper can serve as a catalyst for real change in the industry. “Battery-electric equipment in ports is a realistic, achievable and affordable way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said 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 decarbonization.”
The CEOs of APM Terminals and DP World emphasize the urgency of decarbonization and call for collective efforts within the port ecosystem. They propose measures like zero-emission mandates for new port concessions and increased collaboration between stakeholders to drive demand. The partners aim to provide a cleaner and more efficient workplace while accelerating decarbonization. They invite industry peers to support their mission, preparing for industry-wide cooperation to achieve zero-emission port operations.