APL said on Friday it will soon begin a retro-fit process called "cold-ironing."
Ships docked at the port will shut down their diesel generators and instead connect to onshore electrical sources, or shore power. That will enable the vessels to maintain power while eliminating harmful exhaust emissions.
"We feel the impact will be something in the area of 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions annually that will be eliminated by this process. There's also an estimate of about 1,500 pounds of particulate matter that will be eliminated from the skies," said John Bowe from APL.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District called Friday's announcement unprecedented.
APL is the first company in the state to take this step -- at a cost of $11 million.