Plugging into Cleaner Air

The Port developed Alternative Maritime Power and leads the maritime industry in using shore power to eliminate nearly all air pollution from container ships at berth.


Alternative Maritime Power (AMP), also known as shore power, allows ships at berth to run lighting, heating, refrigeration and other vital onboard systems on electricity. The benefits of this clean alternative include:

  • Eliminating virtually all at-berth ship emissions
  • Conserving fuel
  • Reducing engine noise pollution


The World’s First AMP-Capable Berth

In June 2004, the Port of Los Angeles and China Shipping celebrated the opening of Berth 100 at West Basin Container Terminal, the world’s first berth equipped to run a container ship on shore-side electricity. Later that same month, on June 21, China Shipping’s Xin Yang Zhou was the first containership in the world to plug in to AMP technology. Today, the Port of Los Angeles has 30 berths, more than any other port in the world, where container, refrigerated cargo and cruise ships plug in and run vital onboard systems on electricity.

Eliminating Almost All At-Berth Ship Emissions

AMP eliminates 95% of all vessel emissions while a ship is at berth by allowing vessels to shut down their auxiliary engines. The remaining 5% occurs during the brief window in which crews are plugging in the ship when it arrives and unplugging it prior to departure. AMP also eliminates noise pollution and frees up engines for maintenance while ships are at berth.

Championing International Shore Power Standards

The Port of Los Angeles has played a pivotal role in developing international standards to make plugging into shore-side power and the environmental benefits it offers more commercially viable. Port staff teamed with other industry leaders to create a standard for high voltage shore connection systems (HVSC). The HVSC standard, ISO/IEC/IEEE 80005-1, published in 2012.

Forging the Path to Statewide Regulations

Following the success of AMP at the Port of Los Angeles, the California Air Resources Board adopted shore power regulations in 2007 to reduce at-berth vessel emissions statewide. Effective Jan. 1, 2014, half of all container, refrigerated cargo and cruise ships calling regularly at six major California ports must plug into shore-side electrical power at berth. Additionally, these fleets must cut their total emissions while docked by 50%. Compliance rates increase progressively to 80% by 2020. The regulation applies to the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Hueneme.