Maersk Maritime Technology and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) have hosted a meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, which saw representatives from 12 shipping companies convene to discuss the enforcement of the forthcoming maritime sulphur regulations in Europe and North America.

The exploratory discussions were held to work toward the establishment of the Trident Alliance, a coalition of shipping owners and operators who share a common interest in the “robust enforcement” of the regulations and are willing to collaborate to help bring it about.

The Alliance will also partner with other groups that share an interest in the enforcement and collaborate on initiatives that support the objective. That enforcement is designed to eliminate the risk of uncompetitive behaviour amongst shipping companies that do not comply with the regulations in one way or another, while others make the substantial investment in new technologies and lower sulphur fuels required to comply.

"The meeting in Copenhagen was highly constructive and we all agree that the Trident Alliance is the right way to handle this challenge,” said Roger Strevens, vice-president, Environment of WWL. “The public support and attention we received really added urgency and focused the discussion. None of us want to see this evolve into a coffee club; this is an initiative that will get the work done."

The representatives will now present the findings of the discussions in Copenhagen to their respective companies and work within the next couple of weeks to secure the necessary executive commitment. With that, the Trident Alliance will be formally established and the list of founding members announced.

WWL, led by its vice-president of Environment, Roger Strevens, has been a driving force behind the initiative according to the company.

“WWL has long been highly engaged in the public debate around sulphur regulations, and has raised the issues the current lack of enforcement presents in several forums,” said a spokesperson for WWL. “In his talks with shipping companies, regulators, ports and environmental organisations, Roger found widespread support for robust enforcement within the industry and for taking a collaborative approach to bring it about. To build on the momentum created and ensure that the ideas generated had a platform from which to grow, the concept of the Trident Alliance came to be.