The latest report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) woke the world from blindly following the economic frenzy at the expense of the environment. IPCC forecasts read that the global temperature could rise as much as 10F over the next decade.
In this environmental disaster, the maritime industry happens to be a significant contributor. The 4th IMO GHG study states that ships worldwide emitted 1076 million tons of greenhouse gases in 2018, which accounts for nearly 3% of the global greenhouse emissions . The IMO has been pulling its weight to put a damper on this unchecked emission growth and limit the damage. IMO has come up with its ambitious goal of achieving a 40% reduction in CO2 emission from the 2008 level by 2030 and a massive 70% reduction by 2050 . Pursuing its goal, IMO introduced mechanisms such as EEDI (Energy Efficiency Design Index ), EEXI (Efficiency Existing Ship Index) and now the latest is the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII).
What exactly is the CII ?
In essence, CII measures how efficiently a ship transports its goods or passengers in terms of CO2 emitted. More precisely the CII is the grams of CO2 emitted per ton of cargo transported across every nautical mile. It was one of the regulations adopted by IMO in June 2021 and will come into force from 1st January 2023, covering all cargo, RO Pax, and cruise ships above 5000 GT .
The CII value of a vessel will be evaluated annually and compared to the reference CII values determined by IMO. The emission data of 2019 sets the reference line. Based upon this comparison, the performance of every ship will be rated on a scale of A to E, with A being the best. Achieving the CII rating equivalent to the reference line will land a ship squarely in the middle of the C rating, with better and poorer performances progressively leading to higher or lower ranks. For the start in 2023, the reference line will be set at 5% emission reduction concerning the 2019 level and then gradually move up to 11% reduction by 2027 .
How will CII impact the shipping industry?
With the adoption of guidelines and tools such as the CII, EEXI, SEEMP, etc., IMO is working on reducing the carbon footprint of the maritime industry. However, some industry experts believe that IMO might have been overzealous in reducing emissions. An analysis conducted by ABS using EU-MRV 2019 data suggests, that to 92% of the current container ship fleet, 86% of bulk carriers, 74% of tankers, 80% of gas carriers, and 59% of LNG carriers would require modification and operational changes of some kind to achieve A, B or C energy efficiency rating .
FleetMon in Research & Development: EmissionSEA – Extrapolation of emissions from ships
The ship owner’s struggle
From the above ABS data, it is obvious that a vast number of ships would require retrofitting to achieve favorable CII ratings. Securing finance for such retrofitting will be a challenge for small shipowners who often have older ships as ship finance is rapidly moving towards Environment, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG) goals. The Poseidon principles and the Sea Cargo Charters are essentially frameworks for integrating climate considerations in shipping’s financial decisions. Financing a poorly CII rated ship would increase the risk of the financer as a D-rated vessel today might slip to an E rating tomorrow when CII becomes stringent in coming years .
Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have long been the primary source of pollution on the US West Coast, which also happens to be the smoggiest region in the country. Since June of this year, the accumulation of diesel-powered container ships and a large number of cargo-moving trucks in the ports has exacerbated the situation. Residents living near these ports face the highest risk of cancer from the air pollution in that region, which is primarily caused by smoke-belching ships anchored at these ports. California has set a 2023 deadline for reducing smog and improving air quality, but the situation on the ground has deteriorated in recent years. Especially, with the ongoing congestion at the LA port.
While efficient ports are critical for the economic development of their surrounding areas, the associated ship traffic, cargo handling in the ports, and hinterland distribution can all hurt the environment as well as the economy.
Port congestion and Pollution:
When a vessel arrives at a port and is unable to berth, it must wait at the anchorage until a berth becomes available. This is a problem that only gets worse over time and Southern California ports have been facing congestion issues like never before. A huge crowd of container ships has been constrained to queue outside Los Angeles and Long Beach, causing the latest supply chain disruption in the United States.
The ships are stranded outside two of the busiest ports of the country, which together handle 40% of all containerized cargo entering the US.
The number of ships awaiting entry into the largest US gateway for trade with Asia reached a record high, increasing delays for businesses attempting to replenish inventories during one of the busiest times of the year for seaborne freight.
On September 12, Port of Los Angeles Director Gene Seroka warned that a “significant volume” of goods was “coming our way throughout this year and into 2022.”
Consequently, on September 18, a record 73 ships were trapped outside the port – nearly double the number as that of the previous month.
The current congestion — with both ports setting records regularly — exemplifies cargo surge since the pandemic. The backlog has increased pollution and poses a threat of supply shortages ahead of the holiday shopping season.
In June 2021, we announced FleetMon’s Innovation Lab, bundling all our Research & Development projects. There’s something new coming out of the Lab:
Around a year ago, we started a pilot project in collaboration with Julius Marine, a local producer of buoys and fairway lighting. The project aims to develop a modular, autonomous AIS station that runs in locations without a power supply or a stable internet connection. In addition to an AIS receiving antenna, the station also contains a variety of measuring sensors. It works autonomously, enabled by two solar panels that supply the powerful battery and the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) module for data transmission with energy. This means that the weatherproof station can operate outside all year round to receive ship position data and other measurement data. Servicing the autonomous AIS station is not necessary.
FleetMon supports ETH researchers to find the answer.
Fighting climate change demands action in all sectors. International shipping faces the challenge of long lifetimes of vessels compared to other modes of transportation. Decisions on energy carriers and propulsion technologies that are made now have a long-lasting impact on the emissions of the sector.
A research group at the Institute of Energy Technology at ETH Zürich led by Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos developed a fleet turnover model for the shipping sector to estimate its future CO2 emissions up to 2050. Thereby, the CO2 emissions of existing ships and those of new ships entering the fleet yield yearly emission figures. However, up until recently, a missing puzzle piece for such models has been how long existing ships will actually still be in service. Missing or prohibitively expensive data has prevented analyses on this topic.
Climate change is shaping to be one of the most prominent threats so far in the 21th century. With the shipping industry being an inextricable part of global logistics, it contributes to about 18 percent of some air pollutants. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), with this in view has adopted regulations to reduce emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). The directive in MARPOL annex 6 to reduce sulfur emissions to 0.5% is currently being enforced since 1st January 2020.
Maersk Drilling eyes for investment in new carbon-negative energy. After it’s successful deployment in the Aerospace Industry, the shipping and offshore sector will soon see the deployment of carbon-neutral energy.
In early 23 July, Germany’s last commercial sailing cargo vessel in service AVONTUUR moored in the port of Hamburg, returning from her 5th journey across the Atlantic maritime traffic route. The captain and 15 crew members had been sailing for over seven months.
“After over 200 days on the high seas without being able to go on shore leaves and with the constant uncertainty in mind caused by the coronavirus, the crew is now looking forward to finally arriving”,
reports owner, shipping operator, and captain Cornelius Bockermann.
In recent years, international shipping has increasingly been subjected to criticism for its environmental record. It was in this context that the regulation issued by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) prohibiting vessels from burning fuel with more than 0.5% sulphur content from 1 January 2020 onwards met with a generally favourable reception. As most ocean-going vessels had previously been burning fuel oil with a sulphur content of 3.5%, it was generally assumed that the very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) would have a positive environmental impact, especially when ships are in port. So how about an initial fact check?
Three vessel types were responsible for around three-quarters of worldwide CO2 emissions in 2012. There is little reason to doubt that the Big Three are still responsible for a similar share in 2020. FleetMon provides a global overview of CO2 emissions per vessel type.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial shipping are increasingly grabbing the headlines. Like aviation, shipping had been excluded from climate negotiations because it is an international activity, while both the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and the 2015 Paris Agreement involved national pledges to reduce greenhouse gases. But as ships move around 80% of global trade in volume terms, there is a growing consensus about the need to tackle shipping’s CO2 emissions.
FleetMon collaborates with worldwide logistics and shipping companies as well as with federal ministries, port authorities, and independent research institutes. Our extensive network, combined with over 13 years of experience, reveals our expertise and deep insights in vessel tracking and the shipping industry. Of course, FleetMon is aware of Greenhouse gas emissions debate and various parties’ viewpoints concerning the shipping industry’s effects on climate change and worldwide environmental pollution. Rather than to talk, FleetMon actively contributes to supporting transparency of CO2 emissions caused by commercial shipping.