The Port of Tacoma authorized a new, fee-free, market-based program to reduce emissions from trucks that serve the Port.
Trucks at the Port of Tacoma
Trucks at the Port of Tacoma

Heavy-duty trucks represent 1 percent of maritime industry diesel emissions at the Port of Tacoma. To reduce this impact, the Port Commission recently authorized a market-based program to reduce over-the-road emissions.

The Port of Tacoma Truck Emissions Improvement Program is designed to improve air quality, increase gate efficiency and be environmentally sustainable. The program, which is fee-free, was developed collaboratively with the trucking industry and other port customers.

The plan calls for the port to:
* Develop a list of pre-qualified drayage trucking companies. The port will promote companies that meet set fleet modernization goals.
* Partner with public and private organizations to identify funding opportunities and options for fleet modernization.
* Work with customers to improve terminal gate operations. This may include enhancing operational efficiency, implementing anti-idling policies and practices, encouraging gate congestion management initiatives, and more.
* Develop a communication and outreach strategy for the regional trucking community. This effort may include a new website that allows truck operators to find specific information, such as turn times at terminals and vessel arrivals.
* Explore operational and technological innovations that might improve efficiency, such as tracking technologies, a chassis pool or secure, pre-gate parking.
* Establish a transparent and accountable system to track the progress of the program toward meeting 2010 and 2015 truck emission goals.
* Continue partnering with the Port of Seattle to implement common components of each port's truck program and coordinate efforts to expedite transportation infrastructure improvements.

People who spoke in favor of the program included representatives of the Washington Trucking Association, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Retail Association, Washington Department of Transportation and the Port of Seattle.

The Port of Tacoma is among the largest container ports in North America, handling more than $33 billion in annual trade and about 1.9 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent container units) each year.