Turning around a port

Turning around a port.

THE San Pedro Bay Port Complex, 30km south of downtown Los Angeles, is in the South Coast Air Basin Region encompassing Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties. 

The ninth biggest port in the world, air quality testing in 2006 showed it was responsible for 11 percent of the total diesel emissions in the Basin. But since introducing its Clean Air Action Plan, total port-related diesel particulates in San Pedro Bay have dropped 87 per cent, and have reduced the residential cancer risk by 85 per cent. 

The plan was implemented through innovative investments in zero emission technology as well as the enforcement of a clean truck program.

San Pedro Bay Ports was the first container terminal in the world to use Alternative Maritime Power® (AMP®) which allows ships to run off electricity instead of diesel while berthed. 

Ships that are equipped with AMP® technology can literally ‘plug-in’ to shoreside electrical power points, so not to burn through unnecessary diesel while stationary.

The Clean Truck Program requires trucks entering the port to meet “stringent emission standards,” and has led to a 96 per cent reduction in particulates produced by trucks using the port since 2005. 

The permit system underpinning the program bans certain trucks from entering the port, and forces other truck operators with old, dirtier trucks to pay for expensive daily permits to come into port. 

Under the system, trucks which are up to standard, receive long-term permit stickers, allowing free movement onto the port site.

This produced an incentive for truck operators to upgrade their trucks, to ones with lower emissions. 

In April this year, San Pedro Port announced it was also seeking government funding for a “large-scale deployment of 50 to 100 zero emission trucks” as part of the technology advancement plan already underway. 

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt told the Herald he too imagines a fleet of zero emission trucks one day serving the port.  

Although San Pedro Bay Port has dramatically reduced carcinogenic fumes since 2006, it’s still pumping out greenhouse gases, having only reduced its carbon dioxide output by 10 per cent. 


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