The first of its kind in the United States will be tested by Maher Terminals at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal.
A straddle carrier is a piece of terminal yard-handling equipment that is used to move cargo containers by first straddling the container and then lifting it up and driving over the back of a truck to place the container on the chassis instead of loading a container on the back of a truck from the side.
Through a partnership with the port authority, Maher Terminals has agreed to pilot test the all-electric straddle carrier for a year on its container terminal at the Elizabeth Port Authority Marine Terminal to determine its operational and environmental benefits. The port authority said it will be the first test of an all-electric straddle carrier anywhere in a U.S. port.
The one-year pilot test will explore the level of greenhouse gas emissions that can be reduced by the all-electric straddle carrier. By not emitting any tailpipe gases, this single all-electric straddle carrier will reduce greenhouse gases from the equivalent of 52 fewer passenger vehicles.
“We are proud to take a leadership role in reducing harmful emissions at our facilities to significantly improve air quality throughout the region and particularly in our host communities,” said Kevin O’Toole, chairman of the port authority. “The electrification of cargo-handling equipment is one of many projects that clearly demonstrate our commitment to the agency’s sustainability goals.”
Rick Cotton, executive director of the port authority, said, “This project signals our strong, unwavering commitment to reduce GHG emissions in the port as we strive to comply with Paris Climate Agreement emission reduction targets. Last year this agency became the first public transportation agency in the country to embrace the agreement, and we will continue to undertake initiatives that will reduce our own carbon footprint.”
The port authority’s board of commissioners in October unanimously embraced the Paris Climate Agreement. The resolution adopted by the board called for a 35 percent reduction by 2025 in greenhouse gas emissions generated by the port authority’s own operations. The board also reaffirmed the agency’s prior commitment to an 80 percent reduction by 2050.
To meet these targets, the port department has other ongoing initiatives in addition to the straddle carrier project, including:
• The terminal tractor hybrid retrofit, a collaboration with port tenants to install automatic engine start-stop systems to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by limiting the amount of time the engine spends idling.
• The clean vessel incentive program, which incentivizes ocean carriers to burn cleaner fuel and reduce speed to navigate at an optimal speed for fuel conservation.