A current study on alternative drive systems for port handling equipment has for the first time systematically recorded the stock of port handling equipment by equipment type in seaports and inland ports and also determined the CO2 emissions in the status quo.

According to the study, in the year 2021, the port handling equipment under consideration emitted about 155 million kg of CO2 per year in German seaports and about 12 million kg of CO2 per year in German inland ports. Approximately 70 percent of the total CO2 emissions in the German seaports are attributable to diesel-powered van / straddle carriers – and the trend is rising. If the equipment used is not replaced by climate-friendly alternatives, the total emissions will increase to about 210 million kg per year by 2040.

The “Alternative drives for port handling equipment” (AAHa – “Alternative Antriebe für Hafenumschlaggeräte”) study was commissioned by NOW GmbH as part of the e4ports port network, conducted by Ramboll and accompanied by the AAHa AG of the e4ports network. The funding comes from both the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP 2) and the Electric Mobility Funding Guideline of the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV – Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr). Both funding guidelines are coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).

In the second major work package of the study, the availability and technological maturity of alternative drive technologies was investigated. According to the study, there is currently no sufficiently scaled and market-penetrating range of alternatives. None of the relevant equipment type-drive combinations achieves a higher overall score than the diesel benchmark. Achieving CO2 neutrality by 2040 therefore requires further improvement in the technologies on offer and a significant improvement in the cost situation compared to conventional drives. And given the age profile of the fleet and the plausible useful life per equipment type, it is especially important to quickly develop a wider range of alternative propulsion technologies, not only but especially for the van / straddle carriers and reachstackers.

Download study “Alternative Antriebe für Hafenumschlaggeräte (AAHa)” (PDF, in German)