Sustainable development of container terminals is based on energy efficiency and reduction in CO2 emissions. This study estimated the energy consumption and CO2 emissions in container terminals according to their layouts. Energy consumption was calculated based on utility data as well as fuel and electricity consumptions for each container-handling equipment in the container terminal. CO2 emissions were estimated using movement modality based on the number of movements of and distance travelled by each container-handling equipment. A case study involving two types of container terminal layouts i.e. parallel and perpendicular layouts, was conducted. The contributions of each container-handling equipment to the energy consumption and CO2 emissions were estimated and evaluated using statistical analysis. The results of the case study indicated that on the CO2 emissions in parallel and perpendicular layouts were relatively similar (within the range of 16–19 kg/TEUs). These results indicate that both parallel and perpendicular layouts are suitable for future ports based on sustainable development. The results can also be used for future planning of operating patterns and layout selection in container terminals.