APM Terminals Launches $60M Electrification Pilot

For expensive, low-volume port equipment, the electric revolution has yet to happen. But that’s about to change, as APM Terminals is investing $60 million in pilot projects to electrify port equipment in partnership with leading suppliers.

The global terminal operator has committed to becoming completely carbon neutral by 2040, an ambitious goal it will achieve by optimizing energy use, switching to green electricity, on-site renewable energy and electrifying facilities.

Part of this transformation includes switching from primarily diesel-powered equipment to zero-emission electric versions.

APM Terminals estimates that over the next decade over 2,650 pieces of electrical heavy port equipment will need to be purchased or retrofitted.

A key challenge for the company is the availability of competitively priced heavy-duty equipment such as reach stackers, terminal tractors, empty container handlers and straddle carriers.

Research and development in this area is slow and many questions remain unanswered for ports around the world looking to make staggering investments in new electrical equipment.

The $60 million electrification pilot program is already underway at Aqaba Container Terminal, APM Terminals Barcelona, ​​APM Terminals Mobile, Pier 400 Los Angeles and Suez Canal Container Terminal.

Long-term cooperation with suppliers

Jelle Burger, program lead electrification pilots at APM Terminals, said the multi-million dollar pilot and investment package is meant to “create a spark” that will boost the manufacturing sector and create jobs and business opportunities.

APM Terminals anticipates that over the next decade over 1,500 electric terminal tractors (eTTs), 500 electric reach stackers (eRS) as well as electric empty handlers (eEH), electric top loaders (eTL), 100 electric straddle (eSC) and shuttle (eShC) carriers and 550 rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) will need to be purchased or retrofitted.

Plant the seeds

Jelle Burger adds: “This is not an investment from which we expect an immediate or short-term return.”

“We are making this investment as a long-term, solid benefit for our customers. It can be viewed as ‘seed capital’ to fuel the growth of carbon neutral tools for the benefit of the entire sector and the Earth itself.”

APM Terminals has identified suppliers, including big names in the industry, but also newcomers.

“We see young, emerging companies that are ready to move forward and deliver results. You have the passion – and the prototypes. We are providing the resources to encourage growth, standardization and scaling, which will result in affordable pricing,” said Burger.

Addition to the existing fleet

In 2022, APM Terminals purchased over 180 electric or hybrid container handling equipment. Along with the conversion of all operations to renewable electricity, direct electrification and green fuels, APM Terminals will achieve its net zero goal by 2040.

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