Automotive shipping companies have been flexing their PR muscles in preparation for this year’s World Maritime Day, the International Maritime Organisation’s annual global event, which concentrates attention on environmentally conscious and safer shipping practice. This year’s event, which takes place on Thursday this week, focuses on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, something ocean freight forwarders certainly appear to have on their radars.
NYK’s flagging of its research project with Monohakobi Technology Institute and Japan Maritime Science, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines’ promotion of its next-generation concept for environmentally-conscious car carriers with the ISHIN-I, and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics’s ‘zero’ emissions concept ship E/S Orcelle are just three recent examples of how companies are at least talking about a cleaner future for automotive movements. Needless to say the downturn in traffic in the face of the recession has also reduced pollution as seen in the findings of a recent International Energy Agency study to be published in October.
This week WWL is going one step further and distributing a letter on behalf of the World Wildlife Fund written to coincide with World Maritime Day that makes reference to a recent IMO study revealing that by 2020, existing ships could reduce their CO2 emissions by 20% through operational measures without costing the industry a single dollar.
The letter, from Kim Carstensen, Leader of WWF Global Climate Initiative based in Switzerland, states: “Responsible shipping companies must improve efficiency, support global market-based instruments, and increase funding for development of innovative propulsion systems and other solutions to reduce emissions. In the longer run, the industry needs to seriously consider what ‘sustainable shipping’ really looks like.”
MOL is pinning its hopes on the ISHIN-I, with large-capacity solar panels and rechargeable batteries that the company claims will reduce CO2 emissions by 41% in comparison per unit with conventional PCTCs (carrying 6,400 standard passenger vehicles).
NYK is pointing to the Auriga Leader, already in service and fitted with 328 solar panels designed to generate up to 40 kW, decreasing demand on the ship's diesel-powered auxiliary engines.
And, as promoted at last year’s IAC conference in Sunderland UK, for WWL the future could come in the shape of the E/S Orcelle, a zero-emissions concept vessel that uses renewable energy sources, including wind and ocean currents, as well as sail-mounted fuel cells to generate the energy.
The pressing issues that World Maritime Day seeks to address, and which ocean freight forwarders are seeking to address, will once again be on the agenda at the forthcoming Automotive Logistics conference held in Dearborn, Michigan next week (read more here).