Electrification is coming to ports, and hydrogen fuel cells have risen to the top of the list of viable power options.

The application of hydrogen in port settings goes beyond upgrading fleets of reachstackers and container handlers. Hydrogen fuel cells can also power the terminal tractors ports use to transport shipping containers inside the yard.

This whitepaper from Hyster examines how hydrogen fuel cells compare to other electric options. As opposed to lithium-ion battery power, fuel cells do not need to be recharged, and don’t spend nearly as much time parked at refueling stations. In general, powering equipment with hydrogen requires less infrastructure and space than relying on battery power.


We’re excited to be working with Hyster to unlock the full power of hydrogen for container handling applications. 

At the beginning of the year, we announced the launch of the Hyster-Yale Group fuel cell-powered Hyster® top-pick container handler with two Nuvera® E-45 fuel cell engines at the Port of Los Angeles (POLA) in Long Beach, California. In a project funded by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and managed by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE), the first-of-its-kind machine is being operated by Fenix Marine Services, a terminal operator owned by the CMA CGM Group.

In addition to the POLA top-pick deployment, Nuvera fuel cell engines are powering an electric terminal tractor and an empty container handler to be deployed at Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg, part of Clean Port & Logistics (CPL), an innovation cluster to test hydrogen-powered port logistics equipment.

Nuvera will also power a Hyster® ReachStacker at the Port of Valencia as part of a H2PORTS pilot project funded by the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking program.

“The development of hydrogen infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell-powered equipment is happening now,” said Kedar Murthy, Chief Commercial Officer at Nuvera’s recent National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day Celebration. “Not only are real-world deployments of port equipment powered by hydrogen fuel cells planned for the near future, major companies are joining forces to build a regional hydrogen network to produce and distribute hydrogen fuel at scale.”

Download Hyster’s whitepaper to read more about the benefits of hydrogen and determine whether fuel cells are the right power source for your container handling operation. And in case you missed it, here is the Hyster Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power to the Ports  video recapping the public launch of the world’s first fuel cell top-pick at the Port of Los Angeles.