Smart Energy Voices- Episode 79

Smart Energy Voices- Episode 79

Heavy Duty Cargo Handling Equipment and SSA Marine’s Movement towards Near and Zero-Emissions, with Joe Carrillo Ep

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host Debra Chanil shares a talk from Smart Energy Decisions’ recent Net Zero Forum featuring Joe Carrillo, Regional Vice President of SSA Marine. Joe brings his “boots on the ground” perspective as the person responsible for implementing the programs that help the company meet its goals. Joe shares SSA Marine’s plans, sustainability goals, projects, and partnerships in California.


You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • The structure of SSA Marine [03:08]
  • Challenges in California [07:11]
  • Obstacles when starting projects [09:12]
  • Lessons learned along the way [17:59]
  • Learning to work with grants [22:30]


The Clean Air Action Plan

The Clean Air Action Plan is a regulation in LA Long Beach that will have all its ports at zero emissions by 2030. To meet that requirement, SSA Marine’s six ports in LA Long Beach will cost between half a billion and a billion dollars. The company started this journey about 10 years ago and is working on continuing to move into the zero-emission platform.

SSA Marine has replaced some of its equipment with higher-tier diesel and electrified some. Now the company is working on moving into hybrids on a fuel cell and battery as alternatives. SSA Marine has been awarded $54 million in grant funding for its efforts in moving its fleets to zero emissions.

SSA Marine’s equipment electrification

When SSA Marine’s port in LA Long Beach obtained its first battery-operated forklift in 2020, it came with some hurdles. These forklifts are the biggest working in operations in the world. When they were first used, the batteries tended to wear out quickly. Thankfully SSA Marine was working with good vendors with a sound battery management system. The vendors exchanged the batteries under warranty and are now working on retrofitting the batteries in the first-generation forklifts to be more efficient. SSA Marine has tested nearly every piece of equipment available at this point. Nothing is comparable to what the company currently has as its diesel forklift or diesel top handler, but the machines are improving.


Moving efficiently to net zero

Port terminals require space similar to manufacturing sites and laydown yards. Having a two-to-one replacement rate takes away vital laydown space and space for storing equipment while charging. Another obstacle in charging is throughput. When equipment has to charge throughout a shift, unfinished work can cost another eight-hour shift. That factor adds thousands of dollars to the cost for a customer and needs to be considered in the most efficient way to move into zero emissions.

Connect with Joe Carrillo

Joe Carrillo began his SSA career in 2007 in container operations in Long Beach. He continued his journey through SSA Marine, working in Mexico and Panama before returning to his native home in Northern California to assist operations with direct responsibility for five different business units throughout Northern California, which span maritime, transportation, and warehousing operations. Since 2017, Joe has worked on numerous zero-emission sustainability projects with a focus on larger cargo-handling equipment at two of the five business units in Northern California and operational performances. Currently, Carrix Enterprise has deployed 179+ pieces of near or zero-emission equipment globally and is leading the way in California at numerous sites.

Joe played two years of professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Club after college. His current passions are playing golf in his free time and spending quality time with his wife and two children.

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