Will the Carbon Footprint of Shipping Sink Maritime Logistics?

Posted : 11/12/12 9:07 AM

In an increasingly environmentally aware world, going green has become good for business and having an environmentally friendly public profile can now be crucial. Because of the huge amount of fuel that they consume and the size of many shipping lines, maritime industries are now coming under closer scrutiny for the impact that they are having on the environment. In addition, the implementation of a carbon tax in many countries has had shipping companies looking seriously at how they can manage their carbon footprint. Global shipping accounts for 3.3% of CO2 emissions worldwide with 2.7% being contributed by international shipping1. While this may sound like a small amount in comparison to other industries it still represents the equivalent CO2 output of a small country and it is also thought that unless the issue is addressed now that it could eventually grow to as much as five or six times that amount by 2050. Another issue facing the maritime freight industry is one of public perception. Even though transport by ship is the most carbon efficient method for moving freight, mostly due to economies of scale, the ships themselves are known to consume huge amounts of fuel and to produce large amounts of emissions. In the face of this many of the largest shipping lines have taken steps to make their vessels more efficient. While this has involved a lot of investment in refitting ships for more efficient operation some companies, like the Danish giant Maersk2 have found ways such as reducing cruising speeds to make very significant reductions in their carbon footprint and also in their fuel costs. The opinion in the global shipping industry is that it is possible to reduce the overall CO2 emissions produced by 15-20% by 2020 by employing a combination of technological innovation and more efficient operational procedures. It is also thought that newer and bigger ships will contribute to greater efficiency and reduce the amount of carbon produced to transport goods generally. On the public relations front shipping companies have begun to promote their green initiatives and are quick to point out that other forms of transport contribute far greater amounts of CO2 to the environment than shipping and that it will take a transport-wide effort to develop more efficient and environmentally friendly networks for the future. You can contact http://www.bmishipping.com/ to examine your most environmentally efficient freight transport and shipping options to contribute to a greener world.