Electric cargo handlers introduced at port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angeles has taken a significant step towards reducing emissions with the deployment of the first commercially available battery-powered electric cargo top handlers in the United States. These five new Taylor ZLC 996 top handlers, operated by Yusen Terminals at Berths 212-218, are replacing diesel-powered equipment. Powered by a 650V all-electric battery drivetrain, they can operate for two full shifts on a normal workday cycle and recharge within five hours using an 180W recharger.

Top handlers are crucial off-road vehicles with an overhead boom used for loading containers weighing up to 75,000 pounds onto trucks and trains, unloading, and stacking them at terminals. The Port of Los Angeles began testing zero-emissions top handler prototypes in 2019, leading to the development of these commercial units by Taylor Machine Works.

Currently, the Port operates 215 diesel top handlers, which account for about 30% of emissions from cargo-handling equipment. To further its sustainability efforts, the Port has applied for a $412 million grant from the EPA to deploy 424 zero-emissions cargo handling pieces, 250 zero-emissions drayage trucks, and $50 million for community initiatives. If approved, this initiative could cut greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 41,500 tons.

These efforts align with the Port’s goals to transition all cargo handling equipment to zero-emissions by 2030 and make all drayage trucks calling at the Port zero-emissions by 2035. The deployment of electric top handlers is part of broader sustainability programs at the Port of Los Angeles, which includes collaborations with Union Pacific, BNSF, and Pacific Harbor Line, Inc.