Emirati-based DP World will invest £12m ($15m) in eight new straddle carriers for use at its subsidiary London Gateway logistics hub’s new fourth berth.

The straddle carriers will form part of the first all-electric fleet to enter global commercial operations at any port, reducing carbon emissions by 54% compared with non-electric models.

London Gateway is set to complete its £300m new fourth berth by the third quarter of 2024, by which the straddle carriers will follow suit and begin service.

DP World UK COO Andrew Bowen emphasises that DP World’s latest investment in green innovation reaffirms the company’s commitment to mitigating the effects of climate change by becoming a net zero logistics organisation by 2050.

Bowen said: “After three years of successful trials at London Gateway in an operational environment, we are delighted to announce that we have placed a £12m order for eight fully electric straddle carriers to service our new fourth berth.

“This news represents the culmination of four years of work in partnership with Kalmar, with whom we first converted a hybrid straddle carrier into a fully electric machine in 2019.

“These straddle carriers are capable of operating for up to four hours without needing to be recharged and when required, the battery can be charged in just 45 minutes.”

DP World CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem stated in the annual 2022 financial report that over the next five years, DP World will invest up to $500m across the business to cut CO₂ emissions by nearly 700,000 tonnes as they strive to meet the target of becoming net zero by 2050.

This investment thereby aligns with the goals set in the report as the majority of the machinery is electric, emphasising its sustainability aspects.

Kalmar sales management VP Mikko Mononen added: “Our new high-energy battery technology has been developed in response to customer demand for a battery-based solution that is more closely aligned with their operating patterns.

“We have been working with DP World at London Gateway for many years on solutions to help them improve efficiency and reduce the impact of their operations on the environment.

“The terminal has been piloting a fully electric straddle carrier since 2018 and this project has served to demonstrate that fully electric machines are the optimal next step on the terminal’s decarbonisation journey.”

This investment comes following DP World’s continued involvement in helping to green the UK supply chain, including its Southampton logistics hub reporting its most sustainable year ever in 2022 due to the elimination of fossil diesel from its operations and the transition to hydrated vegetable oil.