NWSA passes infrastructure funding for Electric Trucks Project in Tacoma Harbor

NWSA Orange EV Tractor

TACOMA— Managing Members of the NWSA voted today to further environmental sustainability efforts by approving $560,000 to support the use of Electric Yard Trucks in the Tacoma Harbor.


“The NWSA is thrilled to build upon the work of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy and welcome this new zero-emission technology to our Tacoma Harbor,” said Dick Marzano, Port of Tacoma Commission President and Managing Member of the NWSA.  “This is just the beginning of showing the longstanding operational and environmental benefits of electric yard trucks within our gateway.”


Electric Yard Trucks, also known as terminal tractors, are cargo handling equipment that move containers to and from container stacks and rail cars. Rail Management Services will purchase the terminal tractors and charging stations, with the NWSA installing the electrical infrastructure to support the charging of the trucks. The electric tractors will be the first of their kind in the NWSA gateway.


In 2020, the NWSA was awarded a $780,000 DERA grant and accepted $130,000 in Tacoma Power’s Cargo/Material Handler Equipment incentive funding to bring six electric terminal tractors to Tacoma’s South Intermodal Yard.


The six zero-emission electric yard trucks will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 260 tons per year. In addition, electric yard trucks are cheaper to operate than traditional diesel trucks and having fewer maintenance needs due to fewer moving parts. Rail Management Services has experience implementing electric terminal tractors and has successfully deployed this technology in its operations at other terminals.


Earlier this year, the NWSA adopted the updated Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which lays out an aspirational vision to phase out emissions from seaport activities by 2050. Achieving this vision will involve adopting zero-emission technology across various parts of the supply chain, of which terminal trucks are one element. Investing in charging infrastructures supports customer efforts to increase operational efficiency and advances environmental performance in the gateway.