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APM Terminals and DP World Join Forces on Container Handling Electrification

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2861
October 27, 2023

APM Terminals, the terminal operating arm of A.P. Moller Maersk, and DP World have announced a joint initiative aimed at expediting the decarbonization of port terminals worldwide through the widespread electrification of container handling equipment (CHE), a critical component of port operations.

Recent research has shown that the tipping point for battery-electric CHE can be reached within the next 2-8 years, provided that industry stakeholders take the necessary actions. This research, along with a roadmap for the electrification of CHE, is outlined in an industry White Paper, currently endorsed by Eurogate, Port of Kalundborg, and Smart Freight Centre.

The White Paper identifies key levers and actions that can be implemented by stakeholders across the value chain, including terminal operators, OEMs, port authorities, government entities, and shipping line operators.

The current global fleet of CHE, which facilitated the transportation of 815 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) valued at USD 8.1 trillion in 2020, is estimated to consist of 100,000-120,000 units. However, this fleet is responsible for emitting 10-15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually (scope 1 and scope 2).

While challenges have hindered the widespread adoption of battery-electric CHE, the research shows the potential for battery-electric CHE to become a more affordable, attractive, and accessible alternative to diesel-powered CHE within the next 2-8 years, but only if industry stakeholders take immediate action.

Keith Svendsen, CEO of APM Terminals, highlights the urgency of decarbonization efforts, stating, “Let me be clear: we need to accelerate our work in decarbonisation, and we need to do it now.” Svendsen further calls for collective action from the entire port ecosystem to achieve this milestone.

Tiemen Meester, COO of Ports & Terminals at DP World, stresses that battery-electric equipment is a realistic and affordable solution for significantly reducing carbon emissions and he hopes findings presented in the White Paper can serve as a catalyst for real change in the industry.

“Battery-electric equipment in ports is a realistic, achievable and affordable way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions,” said Meester. ”Throughout my career I’ve seen many industry players talk about various methods for achieving net-zero, but I’ve never been so convinced by one tactic’s ability to accelerate decarbonisation.”

To reach the tipping point for widespread adoption, the research outlines several recommended actions, including making zero-emission operation a requirement for new concessions in ports, fostering collaboration between terminal operators and equipment manufacturers to drive up demand, and supporting suppliers in developing their supply chains and standardizing certain components.

“Essentially, what we want is to provide a healthier, cleaner, and more efficient workplace for the thousands working at the terminals and living in the communities around them. And while electrification of of the container handling equipment is one piece of the puzzle, we believe it is one piece that can be addressed relatively easier and faster than others if we work together and avoid unnecessary complexity,” said Sahar Rashidbeigi, Global Head of Decarbonization at APM Terminals.

APM Terminals and DP World are inviting industry peers to review the research and join them in supporting their goals. Going forward, the partners are preparing to mobilize industry-wide collaboration to drive CHE electrification and achieve zero-emission port operations.

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