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air pollution

Vessel emissions won’t be cut by sailing slower

Policy director of the UK Chamber of Shipping Anna Ziou has slammed French proposals to impose speed limits as a way to cut shipping emissions.

She claims it would give a “false impression” of the industry taking action. 

Ms Ziou’s objection follows an outcry from container lines following the French IMO delegation’s proposals becoming public last month. 

“To achieve a 50% cut in emissions, the shipping industry needs continued investment in green technologies that will allow ships to conduct their business through a range of low-carbon fuels, such as battery power, hydrogen fuel cells or even wind power,” said Ms Ziou. 

“Shipowners have already limited speeds considerably in the past decade and while these proposals are well-intentioned, slow-steaming as a low-carbon [plan] is just not good enough. 

“It will give a false impression that the industry is taking action, when in reality it will deliver no meaningful reduction in emissions, and the scale of ambition required for the industry to meet the 50% target should not be underestimated.” 

Ms Ziou noted that if selected, the plan could penalise companies developing and installing low-carbon technologies and could discourage “meaningful” attempts at cutting emissions. 

At best, she claimed, speed limits would delay any form of transition to low-carbon fuels and in so doing would store up greater costs for the industry. 

She added: “Speed reduction could result in supply chains using alternative modes of transport, such as road haulage, which would increase overall emissions. 

“In addition, ships may call at certain ports that are tidally constrained where a delay of just one hour could result in a knock-on delay of 12 hours to the vessel as it awaits the next tide, unnecessarily creating further emissions during the additional waiting time.” 

Despite the objections, it seems there is mounting support for the introduction of speed limits after chief executives from more than 100 shipping companies described climate change as “possibly the greatest challenge of our time” in a recent open letter to IMO member states. 

Source: The Loadstar

One Manato

$586m loss hits ONE’s parent carriers

Japanese merged carrier Ocean Network Express (ONE) recorded a net loss of $586m in its first year of operation, however it said it expected to move into the black in its second year. ONE, formed from the container businesses of K Line, MOL and NYK, was supposed to produce synergistic returns for its parents. Instead it has dragged down the P&L accounts of the trio, which announced annual results today. 

NYK, which holds a 38% equity stake in ONE, posted a massive group loss of ¥44.5bn ($400m) for the year, prompting the replacement of Tadaaki Naito as president.

The company said  it resolved a change of its chairman, president and representative directors. The new president will be Hitoshi Nagasawa, currently executive vice president corporate officer.

And, like its compatriots, NYK also underestimated the cost of ending its legacy liner business. It said it suffered “higher than expected one-time costs required to terminate the container shipping business”, which included severance payments to agents and penalties incurred on returning surplus containerships to owners earlier than the charter party expiry dates. 

K Line recorded a loss of ¥11bn ($99m) for the year, citing red ink incurred from its 31% stake in ONE as the primary reason. 

Only MOL, which also has a 31% holding in ONE, managed to stay in the black for the year, achieving a positive result of ¥27bn ($240m), mainly attributable to good performances from its dry bulk and energy transport businesses. 

But the carrier noted the business performance from ONE had resulted “in a significant deficit” from the sector. 

The botched launch of ONE on 1 April last year resulted in a significant loss of business and an estimated $400m impact on the bottom line. 

Chief executive Jeremy Nixon explained to investors in November that management had “underestimated the initial launch resource requirement”, causing chaos on operations desks throughout the new organisation and obliging loyal Japanese trading house customers to book their containers with other carriers. 

On the key Asia-Europe and transpacific tradelanes, it took ONE several months to regain customer confidence and thus restore load factors to acceptable levels. 

For the full-year utilisation levels recovered to 87% and 88%, respectively for the Asia-US and Asia-Europe headhaul routes, having plunged below 70% in the first quarter. 

Turnover in the first 12 months was $10.9bn, but ONE is seeking to improve its revenue in year two by 17% to $12.7bn and is targeting a profit of $85m. 

ONE is more optimistic about growth than some of its peers and is projecting a 4% increase in demand. 

“Profit is expected to gradually recover throughout H1, with improved lifting,” said ONE, adding it expected that liftings would be restored to the pre-integration levels of the three carriers during the period. 

It said however that in the first three months of the calendar year, and the carrier’s Q4, trade had been “relatively weak” eastbound between Asia and the US “due in part to a backlash downturn from the earlier rush demand ahead of additional US tariffs on China”. 

In regard to the Asia to Europe tradelane it said that although long-term contracts had improved, soft demand following the Chinese new year had resulted in a decline in spot rates. 

ONE said that its action plan for profit improvement was to “establish an organisation that can tolerate market volatility” advancing the carrier from a period of “stabilisation” to a secondary stage of “reformation”. 

The four parts of its 2019 action plan are: cargo portfolio optimisation; product rationalisation; an organisation restructure and an increase in the targeted $1bn cost saving synergies from the merger to 96% this year, from the 82% achieved in the first year.

Source: The Loadstar

LNG tanker

LNG is the most environmentally friendly fuel for shipping

LNG is the most environmentally friendly, readily available fuel for shipping today – and in the foreseeable future, according to a new study.

With the IMO’s 0.5% sulphur cap regulations coming into force next January, along with its target of halving C02 emissions from shipping by 2050, decisions need to be taken on alternative fuels.

At today’s launch in London of an independent study, commissioned by the not-for-profit collaborative industry foundation SEA/LNG, its chairman, Peter Keller, said the study aimed to prove the efficiency of LNG at this “challenging time for shipowners, operators and regulators”.

Mr Keller, also executive vice president of US flag line Tote, the first to operate LNG-fuelled containerships, said there had been “a significant amount of investment in LNG bunkering capabilities around the world”, a lack of which had in the past deterred most carriers from ordering LNG-fuelled vessels.

CMA CGM is the first, and so far only, global carrier to opt for LNG-fuelled ULCVS, with its order last year for nine 22,000 teu ships to be delivered next year.

Mr Keller conceded it was not viable to retrofit ships to run on LNG.

“Conversions are difficult,” he said, given the size of the tanks required and the complexity of the work.

Indeed, Hapag-Lloyd’s chairman, Rolf Habben Jansen, told The Loadstar recently that a ballpark figure for retrofitting one of its 17 so-called LNG-ready ULCVs, inherited from its merger with UASC, was $25m – at least four times the cost of installing a scrubber system.

He said only one of the 15,000 teu ships was being retrofitted to run on LNG, as a trial, and he did not expect this to be rolled out to the sister vessels.

The Well-to-Wake study (a well-established approach for assessing the life-cycle analysis of fuels used in ships) was undertaken by consultant thinkstep. Using testing and data in cooperation with engine manufacturers,it found that the use of LNG as a marine fuel showed GHG reductions of up to 21%, compared with current oil-based fuels for two-stroke slow-speed engines. These account for about 70% of the power units used in shipping.

Mr Keller admitted that LNG was not a final answer to cutting emissions from shipping, but “it is the only alternative fuel that is available now”.

Maersk said recently it had invested some $1bn in research and development on alternative fuels, which it said was being driven by its customers, the carrier having seen a 30% increase in tenders stipulating the use of sustainable fuel. Other options being researched include bio-diesel and ammonia (hydrogen), solar and wind power.

Source: The Loadstar

Port of Shanghai

Shanghai is still the world’s busiest container port

The port of Shanghai has maintained its position as the world largest container port.

However, new data from Alphaliner today shows its lead over second-placed Singapore narrowed last year.

Shanghai posted 2018 throughput of 42.01m teu, 4.4% growth on 2017, while Singapore handled 36.6m teu, representing growth of 8.7%.

And the 5.41m teu differential between them was narrower than the 6.56m teu difference this time last year.

The 2.93m teu Singapore gained made it the largest-growing port globally, in terms of volumes, although Shanghai’s 1.78m teu gain puts it in second place in that sub-list.

According to Alphaliner, together the world’s largest 120 box ports handled 654m teu last year, an increase of 4.9% on 2017, which was broadly in line with analysts’ consensus.

Of those, 104 ports saw volumes grow, while 16 saw declines – and there were some high-losers among them.

Hong Kong saw the largest decline in volumes, down 1.1m teu over the year, dropping from fifth to seventh place in the top 120 as it posted a 56.7% fall to finish the year with 19.6m teu throughput, prompting its major terminal operators to form an alliance to try and arrest further declines.

DP World’s flagship Dubai facility also saw volumes decline, by 2.7%, and with an annual throughput of 14.95m teu, it fell out of the top 10 to eleventh place – overtaken by the northern Chinese port of Tianjin.

Other ports which saw large losses included other high-profile transhipment hubs: Panama’s Pacific hub of Balboa continued to see fall-out from the Panama Canal expansion as larger vessels now able to transit the canal bypassed it as volumes declined 29.3%, losing around 850,000 teu, to end the year at 2.05m teu; Oman’s Salalah lost 560,000 teu, representing 14.2% of its previous year’s volumes; Dubai rival Khor Fakkan dropped 13.8% to end the year at an estimated 2m teu; while Gioia Tauro, whose problems were recently reported by The Loadstar, lost 4.9% of its volume, equating to 120,000 teu.

The two largest gateway ports to see volume declines were the Iranian hub of Bandar Abbas, where new sanctions had the catastrophic effect of cutting to 600,000 teu, or 22.4%; and the UK’s Felixstowe, whose well-publicised IT transformation project resulted in an estimated loss of some 360,000 teu, representing 8.7% of the previous year’s total.

And Felixstowe’s loss was London’s gain, where scores of ad hoc calls were handled and which recorded a 23.2% increase in volumes to an estimated 1.7m teu.

Three ports, Beirut, Puerto Limon and Dandong, fell out of the top 120 last year, and were replaced by Buenaventura, Lome and Jinzhou.

Source: The Loadstar

future of shipping

New bunker adjustment fees keep spot rates firm

Asia-Europe ocean carriers from have announced further hikes in their FAK rates this month after successfully pushing through 1 January spot rate increases.

Alphaliner said rates on the route “remained firm in December, despite the resumption of the 2M’s AE2/Swan service”.

Hapag-Lloyd said that on 16 January, “due to strong demand”, it was increasing its FAK rates  from Asia to North Europe and the west Mediterranean to $2,200 per 40ft.

Maersk Line has increased its FAK rates to $2,300 per 40ft and CMA CGM has will raise its FAK rate by $200 to $2,400 per 40ft from 15 January.

This follows a surge in spot rates in the final week of last year, which saw the North Europe component of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) leap 14.2% to $996 per teu, with spot rates for Mediterranean ports jumping 15.3% to $967 per teu.

There was no further increase for North Europe in today’s SCFI, although the Mediterranean saw a further increase of 3.1% to $997 per teu.

Moreover, since 1 January, carriers are implementing new bunker surcharge formulae, based on October/November fuel prices, which were a third higher than they are currently, at around $320 per tonne. So shippers should see the fuel surcharge element of their rates reduce in the coming months in line with the decline in bunker costs.

Elsewhere, the bear run on transpacific spot rates, which has seen prices tumble 32% and 24% respectively for Asia to the US west and east coasts since early November, was halted in the final week of 2018. In week 52, the SCFI recorded a 6.8% increase in spot rates for the west coast , to $1,883 per 40ft, and for east coast ports there was a jump of 9%, to $2,998 per 40ft.

The momentum continued this week, with the SCFI recording a 2.7% uplift for rates to the west coast to $1,933and to the US east coast by 4% to $3,119.

Phase 2 of the implementation of 25% tariffs on the import of over 5,700 Chinese goods is currently set for 2 March.

Source: The Loadstar

cmg

CMA CGM back in the black in Q3

CMA CGM moved back into the black in the third quarter, and recorded a net profit of $49m for the nine-month period.

However, in the third quarter, the French carrier was beaten to its ‘best in class’ financial performance ranking by Hapag-Lloyd which reported a stronger recovery.

CMA CGM’s turnover during Q3 increased by 6.3% on the same period last year, to $6.06bn, earned from a 5.5% rise in volume carried, at 5.26m teu.

The carrier said the 5.5% jump in liftings was mainly attributable to the strength of its transpacific, India, Oceania and Africa tradelanes.

Indeed, according to research by Alphaliner, on the transpacific eastbound trade from Asia to the US the Ocean Alliance carrier was the main beneficiary of the botched start-up of ONE, which resulted in the Japanese merged carriers’ combined volumes plummeting.

“After consolidating for the volumes of APL and ANL, CMA CGM has overtaken ONE to become the second-largest transpacific carrier,” noted Alphaliner.

However, CMA CGM saw its average rate per teu virtually flat, at plus 0.8%, while its unit costs jumped 7.7%, an increase of $55 per teu, compared with Q3 2017.

The disappointing increase in CMA CGM’s average rate is surprising, given the boost in its transpacific liftings and the 70-80% leap in freight rates on the route during the period, as shippers rushed to beat the hikes in US duty on Chinese imports brought in by the Trump administration.

This suggests the carrier had to discount rates on other tradelanes in order to protect market share. One UK-based forwarder told The Loadstar that CMA CGM was “now perhaps the most aggressive carrier” between Asia and North Europe.

On 7 September, The Loadstar reported: “CMA CGM has shocked the market by reducing Asia-North Europe FAK rates at a time when most carriers are trying to drive them up.”

The carrier’s FAK rates, valid from 24 September, lopped $200 off its 40ft rate, to $1,800.

CMA CGM said its increased costs – mainly due to the hike in the price of bunkers – “was only partially offset by the introduction of an emergency bunker surcharge”.

Operating income declined by 57.5% for an ebit of $241m and a margin of 4%, versus the 10.4% margin achieved in Q3 the previous year.

The net profit for the period was $103m, 68% lower than the year before, as CMA CGM admitted it had failed in its endeavours to pass on higher fuel costs to its customers.

By comparison, Hapag-Lloyd’s revenue during the same period, from liftings of 3.1m teu, came in at $3.5bn for an operating profit of $252m, an ebit margin of 7.1% and a net profit of $137m.

Source: The Loadstar

Singapore port

Singapore is ranked as the best shipping centre for 5th consecutive year

Singapore has topped the 2018 International Shipping Centre Development (ISCD) Index as the world’s best shipping centre for the fifth year in a row, beating cities including Hong Kong, Shanghai and London.

The index, which was published by the Baltic Exchange and Chinese news agency Xinhua, ranks 43 of the largest ports and cities in the world and serves as a guide for investors and governments on the most important shipping hubs.

Four of the top 10 ports are located in the Asia-Pacific region and three of them ranked in the top four spots. Singapore reached the highest place, thanks to its participation in the Maritime Silk Road initiative, which aims to strengthen connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. Within this framework, customs procedures in Singapore, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates all performed efficiently.

Hong Kong overtook London to take second place for the first time in five years, while Shanghai was ranked as the fourth best shipping centre, thanks to its modern shipping logistics and services systems, as well as the development of its regional shipping counterparts.

“These shipping centres capitalise on their locations in developed shipping markets to provide comprehensive shipping services with abundant logistics and transportation support,” the study said. “Playing the role of international shipping hubs servicing a myriad of maritime trade routes and air flights, their development is buoyed by financial momentum from international economies and trades.”

Some of the major European centres dropped in the ranking due to the region’s overall weak economy: London fell one place to third; Hamburg came in seventh; and Athens was replaced by Busan in the tenth spot.

Rotterdam, however, gained two places to reach sixth, thanks to its improved operating efficiency and advancements in data gathering, artificial intelligence and other technology applications.

London retained first place (ahead of Singapore) as best centre for shipping services, a category that evaluates ports based on services covering ship broking, ship engineering, shipping business, ship repair, as well as maritime legal services and shipping finance services. The UK capital was also the centre with the highest number of maritime arbitrators, at 400, well ahead of Singapore in second place with 50-60.

Baltic Exchange CEO Mark Jackson said: “This report underlines the constant competition and innovation taking place in cities around the world to attract maritime related businesses. Location is an important ingredient for success in the shipping industry and plays an important part in meeting the latest challenges.”

Source: ShipTechnology.com

climate change

Shipping is delivering on climate change

In a piece written for the Parliament Magazine, Violeta Bulc, the European mobility and transport Commissioner explained how the international shipping sector is doing its part to contribute to global climate change efforts.

Below are her thoughts:

In April, more than 100 countries agreed on an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from shipping at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

This was a significant achievement for the EU and its member states, which played an instrumental role in brokering and securing the agreement with international partners.

The agreement is another example of the EU becoming a stronger global actor to spur substantive and credible climate action. By defining an objective of at least 50 per cent GHG reductions by 2050, compared with 2008 levels, international shipping has become the first industry sector to agree globally on an absolute emission reduction aim.

The agreement also comes with a comprehensive list of potential reduction measures, including short-term measures. Undoubtedly, the IMO and the shipping sector were indispensable in setting this precedent. Yet reaching this agreement was no easy feat.

I had the opportunity to be part of the discussions and to interact with some of the key parties during the first day of the negotiations that led to this remarkable outcome. I met with EU member states representatives, who, despite some initial divergence on negotiating tactics back in Brussels, entered the discussions on solid and ambitious grounds.

I am proud to say that, following EU coordination and throughout the negotiations, the member states remained united and played a pivotal role in gathering the required political support during the negotiations.

Four MEPs – José Ignacio Faria , Dubravka Šuica, Jytte Guteland and Bas Eickhout – who engaged in many side meetings at the IMO, also supported the EU delegation.

“The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) agreement is another example of the EU becoming a stronger global actor to spur substantive and credible climate action”

The outcome was also aided by good cooperation of many EU member states with other like-minded partners including several Pacific Islands States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico. The Marshall Islands for instance – one of the world’s biggest flag states and a remote small island state – are heavily impacted by climate change.

Their population is facing increasing difficulties in growing crops and drilling for drinking water, as increased floods increase salinity. Bridging the gap between positions on key issues such as emission reduction objectives and guiding principles of the strategy required a negotiation effort.

Several major flag states questioned whether it was appropriate to set a number for the emission reduction objective before data on fuel consumption and emissions become available. Their reticence was dispelled by the industry representatives, who publicly voiced the sector’s readiness to accept numbers as indicative targets for reductions in the future.

Many developing countries expressed concerns over the possible impacts of new emission reduction measures, for example, on their trade. To address such concerns, the Commission, the EU member states and MEPs present reaffirmed, in their outreach meetings that the EU is willing to consider further capacity building and technical cooperation to assist implementing future measures.

“I am proud to say that, following EU coordination and throughout the negotiations, the member states remained united and played a pivotal role in gathering the required political support during the negotiations”

Therefore I am pleased to see that the EU-funded, IMO-managed project which led to the establishment of the maritime technologies cooperation centres network was expressly acknowledged in the strategy as a capacity building project.

This is an example to others, including international financial institutions. Crucial factors in brokering the deal were the tireless efforts of IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, in encouraging inclusiveness and consensus in the discussions.

With this support in the background, the resolute chairmanships of Sveinung Oftedal of Norway, the Chair of the working group on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, along with Hideaki Saito, the Chair of the marine environment protection committee, made it possible to draw a line and build upon the support of the overwhelming majority of the IMO States present.

Not everyone was fully on board with the text of the adopted IMO strategy. The US, following on their recently announced plans to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and Saudi Arabia, given what the prospect of decarbonisation may mean for their main export product. Both expressed formal reservations to the adoption of the IMO strategy.

While the strenuous negotiations at MEPC 72 delivered a result that kept the IMO in the driving seat for defining an emissions agenda for international shipping, the real work, developing and adopting reduction measures, starts only now.

The full cooperation of both the EU and also all IMO member states is needed to agree on short-term measures with immediate emission reduction effects before 2023. Preparations on longer term actions should also begin.

Bulc ends with stating that she is optimistic that shipping is delivering its share to the global climate change efforts under the Paris agreement and the EU institutions are determined to strive for ambitious objectives, and continue the effective cooperation with our partners.

Global climate change is always a contentious issue, trade is on the rise again globally, and ships are back trawling our seas, connecting places and people. However, ships don’t just drive trade, they unfortunately contribute to climate change too in fact, global shipping is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and these are projected to rise by between 50% and 250% by 2050 if nothing improves.

Source: Parliament Magazine / Medium.com

cosco

Mega Containership Equipped with ABB Turbochargers

China’s newest and largest container ship has ABB turbochargers installed to help to ensure optimal performance and fuel efficiency. 

The flagship in Cosco Shipping Line’s Universe mega containership series, the 21,000+ TEU COSCO Shipping Universe, was delivered in June 2018 by Chinese shipbbuilder Jiangnan Shipyard (Group) Co. Ltd. The vessel is equipped with three ABB A180-L two-stroke turbochargers to match the diesel main engine and four ABB TPL67-C33 4-stroke turbochargers to match four auxiliary engines.

Cosco, the largest container shipping operator in Asia and fourth largest globally, already has hundreds of ABB turbochargers in operation across its fleet and has also selected the equipment for all main and auxiliary engines across the six new 21,000+ TEU vessels being delivered by 2019.

At a capacity of 21,237 TEU, COSCO Shipping Universe has eclipsed the record for China’s largest containership set weeks prior by a different Cosco Lines vessel, the Cosco Shipping Virgo. The pioneering vessel has an overall length of 399.9 meters and an overall height of 72 meters, with a deadweight of 198,000 tons and a traveling speed of 22 knots. Cosco Shipping Universe is planned to serve in the route from the Far East to Northwest Europe.

Oliver Riemenschneider, Managing Director, ABB Turbocharging, said, “The ABB turbochargers on Cosco Shipping Universe will support maximum performance and fuel efficiency, in addition to contributing to Cosco Shipping Lines pursuing green shipping practices for long-term success. We foresee the ABB turbochargers on the forthcoming mega containerships in the Universe series will contribute similar viable operational gains.”

According to the manufacturer, key benefits for ABB’s A100 series include compliance with IMO Tier II and Tier III emission limits; reduced fuel consumption; high operational flexibility, reliability and availability; long intervals between inspections, routine maintenance and overhauls; absolute operational safety with rigorous testing and reduced engine room noise.

The TPL-C series, respectively, is designed to meet growing market demand for greater power, efficiency and long operational life, ABB said. In addition to its fuel savings and low emissions capabilities, the TPL-C series boasts a modular design with minimized spare parts for easy installation and service.

ABB Turbocharging also provides servicing support for all ABB turbochargers in use across the Cosco Shipping Lines fleet. The firm provides access to 24/7 servicing, 365 days a year, and guaranteed 98 percent spare parts availability.

Source: Marinelink.com

air pollution

Ports and Shipping need to curb air pollution

RealWire, an online media presence, has this week issued a press release related to using proven existing technology to curb UK Shipping and Port Industry air pollution.

According to RealWire, providing renewable electricity to ships whilst in port in the UK could reduce the equivalent of 1.2 million diesel cars worth of nitrogen oxides pollution and bring £402 million per year of health and environmental benefits.

By plugging into the power grid with 100 per cent renewable electricity and turning off their diesel engines, ships at berth in the UK would reduce emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 diesel buses – or 1.2 million diesel cars representative of the current UK fleet.

The pressure is mounting for the UK to align with EU air pollution emission targets, and ships at berth need to cut their fuel consumption and port authorities and terminal operators need to integrate shore power capabilities in a simpler and more efficient way.

Schneider Electric supports decarbonisation through its business efforts, this has led to a sponsored study into the emissions from idling ships at berth in UK ports that affects the quality of the air we breathe. Often neglected as source of air pollution, ships spewing toxic emissions near to coastal towns and cities puts people and the environment at risk.

While road transport pollution garners public prominence because it is so visible in our everyday lives, we should not underestimate the impact that portside emissions have on the environment and the cost of keeping society healthy. Offshore supply vessels, fishing boats, roll-on-roll-off, bulk carriers and passenger ferries contribute the most to the emissions from auxiliary engines at berth. The emissions from all vessels’ auxiliary engines at berth in UK ports in 2016 is estimated to be equivalent to nearly 2.6 per cent of the total transport sector emissions of nitrogen oxides in the UK. The best estimates of these emissions from auxiliary engines are 830,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 11,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 270 tonnes in particulate matter and 520 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

There were approximately 110,000 buses and coaches in the UK fleet in 2016 and the study has found that ships’ auxiliary engines at berth are equivalent to the nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 buses and coaches representative of those currently in the UK fleet, respectively.

Dirty air has been linked to asthma symptoms, heart disease and even lung cancer. It has been linked to dementia and is also known to increase the risk of children growing up with smaller lungs. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of the UK pollution – 40 million people – live in areas where diesel pollution threatens their health, according to Friends of the Earth. Global deaths linked to ambient air pollution are estimated to have increased by just under 20 per cent since 1990, while 95 per cent of the world’s population is now breathing toxic air, according to a recent study by the 

Health Effects Institute while the Royal College of Physicians has found that air pollution in the UK contributes to 40,000 deaths per year. The UK could bypass a major health hazard as well as avoid health and environmental impacts of up to £402 million per year through the elimination of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulates – using the introduction of shore connections at UK ports. If all the emissions from the auxiliary engines at berth from these vessels were reduced to zero by replacement with power from 100 per cent renewable electricity sources, the value in reducing emissions would be between £136 million and £483 million per year.

“The UK is one of the last global regions to introduce shore connections at its ports and it will take industry collaboration and innovation to bring forward the introduction of portside electricity in a quick and sustainable manner. There is now a global standard for shore connections and it is up to our ports now to catch up with the global norm and demonstrate that we truly believe in a cleaner, healthier future,” says Peter Selway, Marine Segment Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric.

While health conscious countries like the UK are employing proactive policies to help curb the dangerous impacts of air pollution and the ongoing efforts to alleviate roadside toxic fumes is indeed noble, the long-term impact of the shipping industry should not be ignored.

Globally, the partnership between the Port of Seattle and the shipping industry has seen annual CO2 emissions being cut by up to 29 per cent annually in the port, with financial savings of up to 26 per cent per port call. Meanwhile, shore connection capabilities have been mandatory for all ships at berth in California since 2010 and by 2020, at least 80 per cent of berths have to be equipped with shore connection technology.

The shipping industry itself has been receptive to plugging in at port and Schneider Electric’s technology has assisted La Meridionale to achieve a 95 per cent reduction in its berthside emissions. Danish ferry group Scandlines, meanwhile, has seen an overall energy saving of between 10-14 per cent in its equipped vessels.

“It is time now to adopt a new way of thinking and embrace, as an industry, the benefits that shore connections and portside electricity can bring quickly and cost-effectively. We are fortunate enough to have the technology at hand and we must put it to good use,” Selway concludes.