The port said that emissions of nitrogen oxides, a key component of smog, were down 60 per cent compared to 2005 emissions levels. Diesel particulate matter (DPM) remains down 87 per cent and sulphur oxides remain down 98 per cent, reported American Shipper.
'To reduce emissions while also significantly increasing cargo volumes the port had to reduce the average amount of emissions it generates to move each container,' the port said.
It added that it lowered the 'average amount of emissions the port generates to move each container of cargo for all eight pollutants tracked by the port's emissions inventory, including greenhouse gases (GHG), which were down 30 per cent per container on average since 2005.'
The port said larger containerships played a key role in preserving the port's clean air gains. Containership calls were down 22 per cent, while the average number of containers per vessel increased 60 per cent since 2005. Fewer ship calls also led to fewer trips by harbour craft.
The port noted the largest ships tend to be newbuilds with cleaner engines. In addition, the port has required more ships to 'cold iron' - turn off their engines and plug into the onshore electric grid when docked.
Under rules from the UN's International Maritime Organisation that established emissions control areas, since 2017 ships within 200 nautical miles of the US coastline must burn cleaner fuel with a maximum sulphur content of 0.1 per cent, and more ships are reducing fuel consumption by slowing down within 40 nautical miles of the port.
The port said turnover of older trucks and upgrades to cargo-handling equipment also have 'helped hold the line on emissions'. Half of the 17,000 drayage trucks calling at the port in 2017 have 2010 model year or newer engines.