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Among Piers: APM Terminals Elizabeth converts to green energy

Port of Seattle aids maritime startups; ports of Long Beach and Houston offer grants; and Coast Guard assists after bear attack

APM Terminals Elizabeth at the Port of New York and New Jersey began using green power in January. (Photo: APM Terminals)

APM Terminals Elizabeth at the Port of New York and New Jersey last month began using green power, an initiative that is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% this year.

APM Terminals Elizabeth said in a press release that it had “embarked on a decarbonizing plan in 2016 as part of a multiyear effort to reduce energy consumption through improved efficiency, equipment upgrades and electrification to reduce emissions and create a safer, cleaner working environment for employees.” 

The effort is credited with reducing emissions from an average of 18 kilograms of CO2 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) in 2016 to 16 kilograms of CO2 per TEU in 2020.  

APM Terminals Elizabeth said it took the next step in its decarbonization journey in January by starting to use green power from a supplier that offers renewables such as wind and solar. 

“This is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 45% in 2021, slashing 7 kg CO2/TEU from the current 16 kg CO2/TEU intensity. This translates into an estimated emissions reduction of 8,000 metric tons of CO2 in 2021,” APM Terminals Elizabeth said. 

Jon Poelma, managing director of the terminal, said, “Our decision to pursue green-sourced energy reflects our overall long-term company plans to decarbonize our terminal operations. We’re progressing on that goal through a multiyear program that aligns with our customers who are also decarbonizing their logistics chains and looking to work with like-minded companies.”

In addition, APM Terminals Elizabeth has introduced a new gate complex designed to improve the trucker experience, reduce truck idling and improve turn times. Average turnaround time reductions of 11 minutes have already been seen, representing a reduction of 3 kilograms of CO2 per TEU, it said. 

The terminal said other actions underway to reduce emissions include improving operational efficiencies and traffic management. 

“We’re on a path to achieving net-zero carbon emissions and making significant steps this year,” Poelma said. 

The graph shows operational carbon intensity for 2016-2020 and forecast intensity in 2021 once switched to wind energy. Emissions are calculated from monthly fuel and electricity consumption following the Green House Gas Protocol and divided by the number of containers moved across the berth. (Graph: APM Terminals)

Port of Seattle

Maritime Blue, a statewide organization made up of maritime stakeholders, the Washington Department of Commerce and the Port of Seattle, has launched its second group of maritime innovation accelerator startup companies.

The goal of the program is to spur new technology and investment in Washington’s maritime industry, which accounts for over $37 billion in economic impact annually, including some 69,500 jobs.

“Washington state’s innovative spirit is part of the DNA that has made our maritime, aviation and technology sectors globally competitive. Drawing from our region’s wealth of talent, mentors will help winners of the second Maritime Blue Accelerator to develop their products and create jobs of the future,” said Fred Felleman, Port of Seattle Commission president. “As a public agency, the port is committed to fostering an economy that floats all boats that can sail on healthy seas. Projects like these that spur sustainable maritime businesses are key to our ability to build back better.”

The 11 companies participating in this year’s Innovation Accelerator program are:

  • Allosense Inc., which provides “always connected” asset trackers using cellular, satellite and mesh technologies to reduce logistics inefficiencies.
  • Canscan Tech, which has developed a system, based on artificial intelligence, machine vision and data analytics, that uses existing cameras and infrastructure to automatically inspect containers transiting into or through a terminal.
  • Future Sight AR, which is using augmented reality to disrupt the way engineering and construction companies build infrastructure.
  • Lockstep AI, which incentivizes good supply chain behavior by providing low-cost supply chain financing for businesses that make sustainable inventory and transportation decisions. Powered by cost-effective IoT and advanced analytics, Lockstep-backed companies can get paid at any point of a shipment’s lifecycle and have the confidence to deliver product sustainably.
  • Marine Construction Technologies, whose self-attenuating pile system simplifies and expedites marine construction while also reducing environmental impacts.
  • Mariner Credential Service, which helps professional mariners and active-duty service members navigate the complex credentialing process.
  • OpenTug, which provides marine logistics companies with branded sales suites that handle marketing, booking, tracking and management to allow them to better connect with customers digitally.
  • Pacific Mobility Group, which focuses on the interface between various transportation modes and modal users and seeks to implement mobility solutions that improve people’s lives. 
  • Puget Buoy, which is developing and testing a new generation of alternative fishing gear that will reduce waste and prevent disruption to migrating whale populations and benefit the seafood industry.
  • Silverback Marine, which is focused on designing and building boats that are primarily intended for research, recovery and cleanup operations as well as commercial fishing support vessels.
  • Virgil Software, which is building a first-of-its-kind service to instantly verify that seafood was legally sourced and meets current regulatory traceability requirements.

This week the Port of Seattle commission also announced it had approved funding for two local programs to help speed economic recovery and sustainability projects. 

Fourteen organizations serving King County communities have been recommended to receive nearly $218,000 in Port of Seattle environmental grants, while the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) program was approved for up to $930,000 for cities in King County. Cities will use the funding to boost local recovery efforts, including help for COVID-impacted small businesses.

The Port of Seattle Commission created the EDP program in 2016 in partnership with cities in King County. 

Port of Long Beach 

Families affected by the prolonged economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to pick up a week’s worth of groceries during a food distribution event sponsored by the Port of Long Beach, Labor Community Services and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 20.

“Too many families within our community are struggling to put food on the table as the COVID-19 pandemic continues with unprecedented effects,” said Mario Cordero, executive director of the Port of Long Beach. “We hope this event will help to bridge the gap, and we look forward to working with our labor, industry and community partners by assisting in any way we can.”

The event is anticipated to assist roughly 2,000 families with up to 50 pounds each of grocery products such as shelf-stable food, fresh produce and protein items.

“Our region’s port workers have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re committed to helping our brothers and sisters get through these rough times, together as a community,” said Armando Olivas, executive director of Labor Community Services. “We must support our essential services workers and ensure that their families do not go hungry at night.”

The Port of Long Beach also recently announced that nonprofit organizations can submit funding applications to its community sponsorship program from March 1 to 31.

The program is designed to provide funds for community events and activities that help inform residents about the port. A funding announcement is expected to take place in June. 

Applications are judged on how the proposed events can help the port inform the community of its critical role as an economic engine and job creator. 

Last September, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners approved 89 community sponsorships totaling $396,450.

Port Houston

Port Houston will begin accepting applications for its 2021 community grants program Tuesday. 

Beginning its second year, the program invests in “meaningful projects and programs to enhance local communities,” according to an announcement from Port Houston, which said it is “particularly interested in supporting programs or services that align with our priorities of workforce development, environmental stewardship, community outreach and maritime education.” 

Last year the port commission approved $250,000 in funding awards. The investment has increased to $300,000 this year. 

In the first year, grants went to such organizations as the American Bird Conservancy for its plastics and trash pollution reduction and prevention initiative; the University of Houston for its supply chain and logistics technology program; and El Centro de Corazon for improving East End community health through access to healthy food. 

Port Everglades

Two Coast Guard cutters offloaded more than $330 million worth of illegal narcotics last week and this week at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

The Coast Guard cutter Campbell crew offloaded more than 7,200 pounds of cocaine Feb. 4 worth more than $123 million, and the Coast Guard cutter Harriet Lane crew offloaded more than 11,800 pounds of cocaine and marijuana Monday worth more than $206 million, according to a press release from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Campbell is homeported in Kittery, Maine. The Harriet Lane is homeported in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Coast Guard rescues skier in Alaska

Press releases from the Coast Guard concerning the confiscation of narcotics and the rescue of amateur boaters are common. Not so common was a statement that said the Coast Guard “hoisted a man from backcountry near Haines Saturday after he was mauled by a bear.”

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Juneau command center received an agency assist request for a helicopter hoist from Alaska state troopers at about 3:20 p.m. Saturday, the press release said. 

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Sitka in Alaska located the man and two other skiers in his party about 10 miles northwest of Haines at an elevation of 1,600 feet, just above Chilkoot Lake. The crew lowered a rescue swimmer to evaluate the skier’s condition, then used a litter to hoist him. The rescue swimmer and flight corpsman provided medical care to the man, who suffered injuries to his head and hands after being attacked by a bear during a backcountry skiing outing. He was flown to Juneau and placed in the care of waiting emergency medical personnel, the Coast Guard said. 

The Coast Guard Sector Juneau’s area of responsibility encompasses about 180,000 square miles of water and land extending across southeast Alaska from Dixon Entrance to Icy Bay and from the Alaskan-Canadian border to the central Gulf of Alaska. This includes 12,000 miles of coastline.

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Click here for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

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Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.