- SSA Terminals is retrofitting its 13 yard cranes at the Oakland International Container Terminal to use hybrid power. Oakland International Container Terminal is the largest terminal at the Port of Oakland.
- The retrofitted cranes will not result in a change of operation at the port — they have the same lift capacity (50 tons) and the same range. Retrofitting will take place two at a time, which will also not disrupt operations, as all 13 cranes are not usually used during a single shift, according to Mike Zampa, the communications director for the Port of Oakland. The first retrofitted crane began operation on March 5.
- This effort is part of the port's larger goal to reach zero-emissions operations. It released details on a new effort last summer, called the "Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan." The plan would likely result in more equipment moving away from diesel fuel, the port said.
Cranes "are perhaps the most critical pieces of equipment in a container yard because this is how imports get delivered to customers," Zampa said in an interview with Supply Chain Dive.
The cranes straddle a row of containers more than a mile long, three to five containers high and four containers wide. Trucks pull up next to the crane, which then digs out the right container for the right truck and places it on the chassis. Another truck pulls up, and the process continues.
SSA Terminals received a $5 million grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District for the retrofit and will cover the remaining $1 million itself. SSA Terminals expects to get that money back in the form of fuel savings in two years.
The hybrid engine will occasionally use diesel, but it has the ability to generate its own power when raising and lowering containers, helping to recharge its battery.
These are not the only crane upgrades happening at the Oakland International Container Terminal. The port announced last month plans for three new ship-to-shore cranes that could be the tallest in the U.S. once they're in place. These kinds of upgrades will be necessary as "the ships continue to get bigger," Zampa said.
Vessels in the 15,000 to 20,000 TEU range will likely dock at Oakland in the coming years, he said. "So we need to go up with our cranes to make sure we can reach the top of the stacks of containers on those ships."