American Shipper

Low pollution container hostlers being tested

Low pollution container hostlers being tested

A project aimed at reducing air pollution using new technology patented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will be tested in trucks used at the Port of New York and New Jersey.

   Yard hostlers, trucks that move shipping containers within the container terminal operated at the APM Terminal facility in Elizabeth, N.J., will use EPA’s hydraulic hybrid technology.

   The hybrid vehicles will feature a unique hydraulic hybrid power train that can generate, recover, store and reuse braking power with very little air pollution.

   EPA is also testing the technology in several UPS vehicles.

   EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson was at the port Wednesday to talk about the project, which includes the participation of port equipment maker Kalmar Industries; Parker Hannifin, which makes components for power trains; the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; and the Port of Rotterdam, with which the New York agency recently signed an agreement to share information about environmental issues.

   “Together, we are moving breakthroughs in hybrid technology from the labs to the docks — improving air quality while saving fuel,” Johnson said. “This technology is good for our environment, good for our economy, and good for our nation’s energy security.”

   Port Authority Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee said the projects and initiatives such as preserving environmentally sensitive land, building new facilities to move more containers in and out of the port by rail, and retrofitting ferries to burn cleaner fuel, seek to “maintain a sustainable port well into the future.”

   The hybrid vehicles will use a diesel-hydraulic system that will combine the cleanest available diesel engine technology with components that use hydraulic fluid compression to store energy.

   The hostlers will feature hydraulic hybrid power trains, which are unique hydraulic hybrid propulsion systems that provide power to the drive axles.

   The EPA said hydraulic tanks are used to store energy, in contrast to the less efficient batteries used in electric hybrid vehicles. Like other hybrid systems, energy saved when applying the brakes is reused to help accelerate the vehicle.

   The hydraulic hybrid technology is expected to improve the fuel efficiency of the yard tractor by 50 percent to 60 percent, reduce or eliminate emissions during idling, and decrease brake wear.

   Similar technology tested on UPS trucks showed potential savings of 1,000 gallons of fuel per year where most delivery trucks are driven.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes UPS (No. 2).