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PortSide: Georgia Ports, IKEA to preview electric trucks

  • Starting next week, Los Angeles-based BYD America will bring its all-electric terminal tractor to Savannah for GPA and IKEA to test out. (Photo courtesy BYD)
The Georgia Ports Authority was going green long before it was cool — or required.
 
So it only makes sense that the GPA — winner of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2016 Clean Air Excellence award for its innovative programs converting diesel cranes to electric power — would welcome the opportunity to preview electric trucks for on-terminal use.
 
Likewise, Swedish furniture giant IKEA Group — which has stated that its low prices “must never be achieved at the expense of people or the environment” — is looking forward to trying the all-electric tractor in its cavernous distribution center a few miles upriver from the port.
 
The preview is sponsored by Georgia Power’s “Will it Work?” program — an initiative designed to get environmentally friendly technologies into the hands of companies that can use them.
 
It will allow both the ports and IKEA to put the jockey truck to use for several weeks to get a sense of how it will perform under normal operating conditions, said Osman Bholat, Georgia Power’s electric vehicle segment manager.
 
“Our goal is to bring the vehicle in, put it to use over a period of time and then give the company real data with which to evaluate its performance,” Bholat said.
 
“For starters, the truck will have to do everything its diesel counterpart does — and do it equally as well. Both of these companies work their trucks hard over two shifts per day.
 
“We’ll be looking at fuel and maintenance labor savings both per truck and across the fleet.”
 
Bholat said he expects energy costs to operate the electric truck to be less than a third of a similar diesel-powered truck, with maintenance costs coming in at less than half.
 
While IKEA has three diesel-powered jockey trucks in its local operation, Georgia Ports has 300 such vehicles on terminal, making it easy to convince West Coast electric vehicle manufacturer BYD that this was a market to explore, Bholat said.
 
The demo vehicle — a BYD Class 8 yard tractor — is expected to arrive the first of next month, spend a few weeks at IKEA, then move to GPA’s Garden City Terminal for a month.
 
Headquartered in Shenzhen, China, BYD Co. Ltd. is the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer, in both consumer and commercial/industrial vehicles, and a global leader and innovator in battery technology.
 
The BYD Class 8 yard tractor utilizes the first battery specifically designed for vehicle electrification. With the company’s proprietary iron phosphate technology at its core, the truck, which is manufactured at BYD’s facility in Lancaster, Calif., is capable of providing 15 hours of operation between charges.
 
^
 
Deadline internship applications coming
 
Looking for an opportunity to work at one of the country’s premier seaports this year? College students hoping to land a 2017 summer internship with Georgia Ports Authority have until close of business Monday to submit a current résumé and brief statement of interest to Valerie Attaway at vattaway@gaports.com.
 
The paid program is looking for students in a variety of majors, including logistics, management, marketing, criminal justice, accounting, engineering, risk management, computer information systems, mass communications and more.
 
Applicants who do not provide a statement of interest will not be eligible for consideration. Georgia Ports Authority does not pay for any travel or living expenses.
 
Senior business reporter Mary Carr Mayle covers the ports for the Savannah Morning News and savannahnow. She can be reached at 912-652-0324 or at mary.mayle@OVERSET FOLLOWS:savannahnow.com.
 
 
SHIPPING SCHEDULE
 
Following are the ships expected to call on Georgia Ports Authority’s Garden City and Ocean terminals this week. Schedules are supplied by GPA and are subject to change.
 
TERMINAL VESSEL ETA
 
GCT MAERSK DETROIT Today
 
GCT MARGARETE SCHULTE Today
 
GCT MAERSK WEYMOUTH Today
 
GCT ZIM ALABAMA Today
 
GCT ATLANTIC SIRIUS Saturday
 
GCT MSC MARIANNA Saturday
 
GCT MSC BEIJING Saturday
 
GCT ATB FREEPORT Saturday
 
GCT MOL BEYOND Saturday
 
GCT MSC KARLSKRONA Saturday
 
OT INTERLINK PROBITY Saturday
 
GCT MSC VIDISHA R. Sunday
 
GCT APL SALALAH Sunday
 
GCT NORTHERN MONUMENT Sunday
 
GCT NORTHERN JUBILEE Sunday
 
GCT YM UNIFORM Sunday
 
GCT KYOTO EXPRESS Monday
 
GCT E. R. TEXAS Monday
 
GCT OCTAVIA Monday
 
GCT VANCOUVER EXPRESS Monday
 
GCT WEHR HONG KONG Monday
 
GCT MAERSK DENVER Monday
 
GCT HALIFAX EXPRESS Monday
 
GCT YANTIAN EXPRESS Monday
 
GCT NINGBO EXPRESS Tuesday
 
GCT NYK CONSTELLATION Tuesday
 
GCT CHARLESTON EXPRESS Tuesday
 
GCT MSC MARINA Tuesday
 
GCT MSC KOLKATA Tuesday
 
GCT IBRAHIM DEDE Tuesday
 
GCT DEIRA Tuesday
 
GCT HENRY HUDSON BRIDGE Tuesday
 
OT ORIOLE Tuesday
 
OT STAR LINDESNES Tuesday
 
OT GRANDE SIERRA LEONE Tuesday
 
GCT HAWK HUNTER Wednesday
 
GCT CMA CGM MOLIERE Wednesday
 
GCT SUEZ CANAL Wednesday
 
GCT MOL MAESTRO Wednesday
 
GCT PACON Wednesday
 
GCT MOL BELIEF Wednesday
 
GCT ZIM TARRAGONA Wednesday
 
GCT ALLISE P Wednesday
 
OT TAMESIS Wednesday
 
GCT MSC MAEVA Thursday
 
GCT ZIM CHICAGO Thursday
 
GCT OOCL ATLANTA Thursday
 
GCT MAERSK KOTKA Thursday
 
GCT HAMBURG Thursday
 
OT YOU & ISLAND Thursday

 

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