Long Beach carriers cut dockage fees through green program
Results for the first full year of a Port of Long Beach program offering vessel operators reduced dockage fees in exchange for vessel speed reductions in and out of the harbor show that 44 percent of the companies will get the 15 percent discount in 2007.
The program's aim is to reduce air emissions from vessels by reducing transit speeds to 12 knots or less within 20 nautical miles of the harbor.
Under the program, discounts are awarded based on a 90 percent cumulative compliance of all of a carrier's vessels that visit Long Beach during the year. Carriers that met this criteria in 2006 — 120 in total — will receive the reduced dockage rates in 2007.
The number of individual vessels meeting the speed recommendations also rose, up more than 13 percent in 2006, boosting overall individual compliance to 82 percent. Individual ships do not earn the discount, but receive symbolic 'Green Flags' to signify their achievement.
Among the 120 ocean carriers with the highest rates of compliance are almost all of the port's most frequent visitors. Of the carriers with more than 200 ship visits during the year, five qualified for the discount: China Ocean Shipping Co., Carnival, Hanjin Shipping, 'K' Line and Mediterranean Shipping Co.
Among the most frequent visitors, 'K' Line had the highest overall compliance rate with 99 percent. Hanjin had the most individual ships in compliance for the year with 398.
The port's goal is to raise compliance to 100 percent, which would reduce about 550 tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides every year.
Targeted as a major source of air pollution in the Southern California basin, the neighboring ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have been under increasing community pressure to reduce emissions.