Port of Long Beach
Pier E Terminal South Battery Exchange Building
Long Beach, CA
Ports & Harbors
ACEC CA, Engineering Excellence Awards 2023 - Honor Award
This Battery Exchange Building supports AGVs at the Long Beach Container Terminal, the first fully automated container terminal in the U.S.
The Port of Long Beach's Pier E Terminal South Battery Exchange Building serves Long Beach Container Terminal's (LBCT) zero-emissions Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). The Long Beach Container Terminal is the first fully automated shipping container terminal in the United States and it uses battery-powered AGVs to move shipping containers through the facility. These AGVs in turn, need to exchange their depleted batteries for new ones to keep working. This is where the Battery Exchange Building comes in. The AGVs go into the facility to get new batteries to continue moving containers. The battery exchange building has stacks of battery packs, which are retrieved by cranes and placed into the AGVs. The entire process is entirely automated, with no direct human involvement. There are only a handful of other ports in the world that have similar facilities.
The project began with a shell and core that had already been built. Our team assisted Terex, a German company with experience with batteries and AGVs, who was the design lead. Terex needed to complete an industrial tenant improvement on an empty warehouse building, with the racks for the batteries and all the associated infrastructure. P2S provided Terex with local help to get plans through the City of Long Beach. We partnered with them to get the design documents through plan check. We coordinated through their local project manager with their team in Germany to ensure they complied with all local codes. The result was a fully functional, automated facility where the AGVs that move containers around come in to get new batteries.
The P2S fire protection team provided performance specifications for fire pump, pre-action ceiling and in-rack sprinkler system for the battery exchange building, securing LBCT's costly automated facility against fire threats.