As an alternative to diesel-powered trucks that shuttle containers between marine terminals and rail yards near the docks, the Port of Long Beach wants to hear about alternative ideas from transportation planners. The catch? The port wants a system that generates no on-site pollution.
With import capacity expected to expand at the port, and already well in excess of a thousand containers shuttled daily to the port’s Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), making the right choice could provide an example for other ports.
“We plan to challenge current technology, and if we are successful, we will begin a new era in cleaner, faster freight movement with wide opportunities for applications nationwide,” said Robert Kanter, the port’s managing director of environmental affairs and planning, in an article at the Journal of Commerce Online.
The ICTF handles about 600,000 shuttles a year, and its operator, Union Pacific Railroad, is seeking permission to expand capacity to more than a million lifts a year, the Journal reports.
Currently, diesel trucks, as well as some powered by liquified natural gas, make the daily jaunt to the ICTF, which is about 4.5 miles from the docks.
Some of the zero-emission container moving systems floated so far include electrified rail, zero-emission trucks and electric guideways.
The port may be having a hard time getting the kind of response it wants, however. The original deadline for proposals of Sept. 15 has been extended to Oct. 23.