The Port of Los Angeles has reported that it ended 2020 with a net reduction in air pollution after it released its Inventory of Air Emissions for the year.
The annual inventory measures the progress of the port’s strategies for reducing pollution from all sources related to its operations, including ships, trucks, locomotives, harbour craft and cargo handling equipment.
The report shows criteria pollutants fell slightly from 2019 levels, with diesel particulate matter (DPM) down 1%, nitrogen oxides (NOx) down 3%, and sulphur oxides (SOx) also down 1%.
During the first five months of the year, the port experienced container trade drop by 19% due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in the third quarter container volume rose by 50% until the end of the year. By the end of the year, 9.2 million TEU moved through the port.
“The tremendous drop in emissions during the first part of 2020 offset the increase at the end of the year,” said Christopher Cannon, Director of Environmental Management at the Port of Los Angeles. “The cargo surge has continued well into this year, so we expect to see an increase in emissions for the calendar year 2021.”
An analysis of the port’s clean air gains on a per-container basis shows emission reductions are materialising as cargo volumes grow.
“Operational efficiency benefits both business and the environment. The heavy volume of inbound cargo has led to disruptions across the supply chain, and those impacts will be reflected in next year’s inventory,” continued Cannon.
The Port of Los Angeles is expecting its most successful year to date in 2021, projecting a total of 10.8 million TEU to be processed by the end of the year, an 17% increase compared to the final figures of 2020. This success comes despite long delays for vessels due to ongoing congestion in the supply chain, this has forced the port to move to 24/7 operations.