American ShipperInfrastructureShipping

Oakland sees second trucker turn to all-electric rig

Impact Transportation buys $275,000 battery-powered tractor for yard operations.

   A second trucking firm at the Port of Oakland has turned to battery-powered big rigs.  
   Impact Transportation said Tuesday that it has purchased a $275,000 all-electric truck for yard operations. The port hailed the buy as the latest step in its quest to phase out diesel-powered freight hauling.
   Impact said the twin-axle tractor, known as a yard hostler, would shuttle cargo through its port depot. The truck’s performance will be closely watched by port officials. 
   Oakland has said it’s seeking a path to zero-emission port operations, and a big part of that effort would include curbing exhaust from thousands of trucks that work at the port. Battery-powered trucks are expected to provide an emissions-free alternative to diesel big rigs.
   “We’re grateful to Impact Transportation for exploring battery power,” said Catherine Mukai, Port of Oakland associate environmental planner and scientist. “The road to zero emissions will be a long one and we need leaders to take the first step.”
   Impact Transportation said it purchased its yard tractor with the help of a $175,000 state grant.  
   “We love it so far,” said Impact Transportation President Ron Cancilla. “Considering the grant and the cost to buy and maintain a diesel truck, this seemed to be a no-brainer.”
   The yard hostler can run for 12 hours on its 80-kilowatt-hour battery.  The battery charges during operations, then plugs in overnight.
   Impact operates three hostlers that move freight ranging from wine to helicopters. The company said its electric truck may see double duty retrieving cargo containers from Port of Oakland marine terminals.  
   Another Oakland-based freight hauler, GSC Logistics, introduced the first all-electric truck at the port last February. That rig transports cargo between Oakland marine terminals and GSC’s container yard at the port. 
   Thanks to government grants, more battery-powered vehicles are on the way to Oakland by 2020, the port said: 
   • Shippers Transport Express, a port tenant, should get 10 zero-emission, battery-powered trucks to haul containers.
   • Another tenant, SSA, would acquire five zero-emission yard trucks to shuttle containers within Matson marine terminal, which SSA operates.

The FREIGHTWAVES TOP 500 For-Hire Carriers list includes Shippers Transport Express (No. 396).

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.