Long Beach incentives to slash emissions
The Port of Long Beach (POLB) is introducing two new incentives that are expected to attract additional cargo and encourage the use of air pollution-reducing shore power and on-dock rail.
The first of the incentives will see the port waive dock fees, essentially giving ‘free parking’ to cargo ships. The vessel operator will be required to slow down within 40 miles of the port and plug into shore-side power or use another approved pollution-cutting technology at berth.
By waiving the fees, the port will forgo an estimated US$3.3m to US$4.9m a year, but the measure is expected to attract additional cargo to Long Beach, and help to offset the costs with an increase in revenue from other fees.
A spokesperson for POLB, told GreenPort: “While there are programmes and requirements for vessel operators to slow down near the port and to plug in to shore power, the dockage waiver incentives provides the chance to get additional ships to participate, and create new emissions reductions. For example, the air quality benefit for each ship that plugs into shore power for a day is equivalent to taking 40,000 cars off the road for that day.”
The port is also offering a US$5-per-container unit incentive that shipping lines can earn for each new loaded container they bring through Long Beach. The requirement is that each container must travel inland by on-dock rail, which helps to eliminate truck trips on local roads. If vessels bring an additional 20% more cargo over two years, POLB says it would generate an additional US$22m in revenue for the port.
These new incentives are designed to help POLB compete with other West Coast ports, especially Vancouver, Canada, that have already cut fees to grow their business.
“While we did see a 9.7% increase in container throughput in April; for the calendar year we are just about 1-2% up from the same period last year. The new incentives help to bring the Port of Long Beach more in line with the rest of the West Coast ports, price-wise,” the spokesperson told GP.
The Board of Harbour Commissioners is set to consider the incentives for final approval later this month.
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