Maritime shipping moves 90% of the world’s goods, including the products we wear, eat and play with, our energy and raw materials. Shipping is the most efficient form of transport but because it is the lynchpin of today’s global economy, the industry emits over a billion tons of emissions annually. That’s more tons of carbon per year than emitted by Germany. There are around 70,000 commercial ships crossing the oceans every day, including container vessels, oil tankers, ”bulk” carriers and cruise lines.
As fuel prices continue their inexorable rise and new environmental legislation increases year on year, so will the demand for technologies that can both deliver real cost savings and move the shipping industry towards full emissions regulatory compliance. These incentives for change align with respect to enhanced efficiency and performance of the shipping fleet to reduce consumption of bunker fuel and simultaneously cut costs, pollution, and risk.
The most cost-effective scenarios for increasing efficiency exist not in new-builds, but in retro-fitting existing ships with a variety of different technologies, many of which have a payback period of less than three years. There are over 60 technologies and over 130 technology providers in the shipping space, many of which are market-ready and have guaranteed fuel savings of up to 10-15 percent. Technologies include: modern wind power, energy recovery (waste heat recovery from engine), hull optimization air lubrication, new optimized engines and the latest in rudders, hull coatings, and propeller technology.