Port of Virginia employs all-electric yard tractors


The Port of Virginia is using four new MAFI T230e Electric Yard Tractors in its cargo operation at Norfolk International Terminals (NIT).

These are the first zero-emission vehicles in use at NIT, which has a fleet of 100 diesel yard tractors that are used to ferry containers around the terminal. 

These tractors went into operation on 12 January and will soon be outfitted with GPS technology which will connect them with the terminal’s operating system. 

This will allow for location tracking and route mapping.

The electric yard tractors were delivered by the trucks and logistics provider, Current Trucking, in December 2022 and will offset 266 metric tonnes of carbon per year, which is equivalent to more than 300 acres of forest sequestration. 

“Adding this equipment to our fleet of yard tractors allows us to retire some older units and move toward a greener future,” said Stephen A. Edwards, CEO and Executive Director of the Virginia Port Authority. 

“We are always looking for innovative equipment, technology, and processes to help attain our goal and do so ahead of our schedule.”

READ: Port of Virginia sets July volume record

The port is already using some hybrid equipment in its cargo operation and sourcing some of its electricity for cargo operations at Virginia Inland Port, in Front Royal, Virginia, and its terminals in the Norfolk Harbor from renewable sources.

By 2024, the port will fulfil all of its electricity needs at its marine terminals from renewable resources, well ahead of the goal’s original 2032 “SCOPE 2” deadline.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with the purchase of electricity, steam, heat, or cooling.

Prior to this recent truck acquisition, Cargotec’s Kalmar provided the Port of Virginia with 11 Kalmar Hybrid Shuttle Carriers in August 2022.

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