What Are The Main Methods For Making Maritime Shipping More Sustainable?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how the industry is adapting and discuss some of the key strategies that are being employed to reduce environmental impacts. From improved vessel designs to alternative fuel sources, we’ll explore all the ways shipping is becoming greener.

Alternative Fuel Sources
The use of traditional fossil fuels is one of the main sources of emissions from ships. A staggering 300 million tons of fossil fuels are consumed by the shipping industry annually, making up approximately 5% of all global oil production. So, the development of alternative fuels could be a game-changer for maritime shipping. By replacing traditional diesel or heavy fuel oil with renewable sources such as biodiesel, hydrogen, and biogas, emissions can be significantly reduced while maintaining an efficient system. In short, to reduce these impacts, vessels are being fitted with alternative fuel sources such as liquified natural gas (LNG) or biofuels.

LNG is particularly popular among maritime companies, as it produces up to 25%% fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional fuels, and has the added benefit of being cheaper. In fact, many of the world’s largest shipping fleets are already powering their vessels with LNG. Examples, include Carnival Corporation, which has announced plans to convert over 100 cruise ships to LNG.

Also known as ‘smart shipping’, digitalisation is the process of using data and technology to create a more efficient and sustainable shipping industry. This could involve anything from introducing sensors and automated systems into vessels to tracking and monitoring ships to improve navigation and reduce fuel consumption. It can also help to increase transparency and allow for more accurate reporting of emissions, making it easier to identify areas that need improvement or further efficiency gains.

Vessel Optimisation Technologies
One of the most promising new technologies in maritime shipping is Vessel Optimisation Technology (VOT). VOT is a suite of software tools that can be used to make ships more efficient, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. VOT software can be used to analyse a vessel’s performance and identify areas of potential improvement, such as reducing drag or optimising engine power. It can also be used to create detailed reports that provide insights into the ship’s efficiency, helping operators better understand their vessels and make informed decisions about how best to reduce their environmental impacts.

Design Optimisation
This is the practice of making changes to a vessel’s design to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. This could involve modifying the hull shape, adding propellers and rudder configurations, or even introducing new propulsion systems. By making simple modifications to the design and construction of a vessel, it is possible for shipping companies to reduce the amount of fuel consumption by up to 10%. This is an effective way of cutting emissions and making the industry more sustainable in the long run.

Green Technologies
In addition to fuel sources, ship operators are also investing in green technologies such as wind power or solar panels to supplement their energy needs. These renewable energy sources can drastically reduce vessels’ overall emissions while also providing a more reliable source of power. While wind and solar power are still prohibitively expensive for many large vessels, they are becoming more accessible. Additionally, the development of sustainable shipping containers is another way that companies can reduce their environmental impact by using lightweight materials with improved insulation properties.

Energy Management
With the growth of digital technologies, it’s now possible to optimise energy use and reduce emissions through the monitoring of ship performance. For example, the use of energy management systems (EMS) can help vessels to identify and reduce unnecessary energy consumption, while also providing operators with real-time data to understand their ship’s performance. Also, by collecting real-time data on fuel consumption, vessel engines can be adjusted for maximum efficiency, which in turn reduces emissions and lowers operating costs. This allows them to make more informed decisions on how best to reduce emissions, such as improving fuel efficiency or changing routes.

Final Thoughts
Overall, sustainable shipping methods are becoming increasingly important as the industry moves towards a greener future. In short, sustainable maritime shipping is about more than just reducing emissions – it’s about developing a whole new way of operating that puts the environment and sustainable practices at the forefront. At the moment, the World Shipping Council has made commitments with all stakeholders to ensure sustainable practices are being implemented.

Consequently, by implementing sustainable shipping methods, it’s possible to make a significant contribution towards reducing emissions and creating a more sustainable future for global trade. In doing so, maritime companies can help ensure that their operations are in line with growing environmental concerns, while also making progress towards meeting international.