Ships Takes Shore Supplies in California During Her Port Stays
In less than a year, many of the towering cargo ships loading and unloading goods at California ports won’t just tie up at dock – they’ll also plug in. In January, the state will become the first government body in the world to require container fleets docking at its major ports to shut off their diesel engines and use electricity for 50 percent of their visits or face crippling fines. The requirements also include slashing fleet emissions by half, and those requirements rise to 80 percent in 2020, The Associated Press reported. The regulations by the California Air Resources Board mark a sea change in the industry that has ports, shippers and terminal owners who do business in some of the busiest port complexes in the U.S. scrambling to meet the deadline and navigate new technological challenges. It also comes at a time when California’s bustling ports are under increasing pressure to remain competitive while at the same time reducing pollution with initiatives that have, in some cases, been met with harsh opposition from the truckers and shippers that are their life blood. East Coast ports have been racing to deepen their harbors to accept the supersized cargo vessels that are expected to start arriving after the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion in 2015, gigantic deep-water vessels from Asia that have so far been primarily West Coast customers. The Port of Long Beach, which showed off its shore power terminals Monday at a summit on the topic, began installing electricity at a handful of berths several years ago and has offered shippers new “green” lease terms since that included plugging in while at dock. It already has power flowing to four berths and has 12 more under construction in an overall plan to pour USD200 million into the transition.