Port Sustainability Challenges – Net-Zero Carbon

Tyler Cole pointed to the benefits of urging US ports to adopt sustainable practices on FreightWaves Now.

“Ports are a huge part of our economy, the hub of most incoming goods,” said Cole, the host of Net-Zero Carbon on FreightWavesTV.

Cole noted the environmental impact ports have on the public health of local communities.

“How do we get this more expensive, newer technology into the hands of cash-strapped operators so we can relieve these communities of environmental impact? Ports are the first place that happens,” he said.

Across the country, local and state governments are looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their respective communities.

“You look along the West Coast — California, Oregon, Washington — you see big state and local incentives to try to get dirty trucks off the road and replace them with new zero-emission vehicles,” Cole said. “We have seen some of these grants being used to get zero emission vehicles on the road, from forklifts and gantry cranes to container yards and seen many of these container handling equipment becoming zero emissions. And even if we’re just doing some general preparation for how we’re going to electrify in the future, we have to do this inglorious job of preparing the ground so we can put in the right amount of charging infrastructure.”

At some ports, masses of vehicles queuing create significant pollution in the area and shouldn’t be underestimated, according to Cole.

“In general, I think idling is a lot less burn than when we’re cruising up and down the road,” he said. “It’s something we can’t overlook and just because it’s a smaller piece of the bigger pie doesn’t mean we should minimize it. I think it’s just as important to try and quantify the health impact of everyone sitting in this community where that goes untapped.”

Cole noted that there could be a nationwide vote on climate issues on Tuesday.

“If there’s climate on the bills, where people are going to vote, a lot of that will be decided by who’s in office and controls the purse strings of a lot of these programs that are trying to improve local communities and the long-term prospect.”

Leave a Comment