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Shipping Industry Targets CO2 Emissions Reductions, Verification

In addition to implementing carbon emissions and fuel reduction measures such as Hapag-Lloyd’s use of new dynamic trim technology, shipping lines like Maersk are taking it one step further by verifying their CO2 data. Maersk Line claims that it is the first shipping company to receive independent verification of its CO2 emissions data, vessel by vessel.

The shipping line says it will now add the CO2 data, verified by Lloyd’s Register, as one of eight performance measures in score cards provided to its customers. This is expected to give Maersk’s customers more transparency into the carbon footprint of their supply chains.

Case-in-point: “Our global logistics providers can aid us in lowering the carbon footprint of our supply chain by improving their CO2 emission data,” said John Bauer, director of global transportation, Starbucks Coffee Company, in a statement. “Quantified measurement and verification is a step in the right direction. Together, we continue to strive to better the world in which we do business,” he added.

Maersk Line says the next challenge is to get other shipping lines to participate and to make independent verification an industry standard, enabling customers to choose shipping lines based on their environmental performance.

“It used to be that ‘you cannot manage what you cannot measure’. That’s not the case any more. We will work to develop a global industry standard for verification of shipping’s CO2 emissions,” said Jacob Sterling, head of climate and environment for Maersk, in a statement.

This effort is centered within the Clean Cargo Working Group, which consists of shipping companies and large customers in search of ways to reduce shipping’s carbon foot print, says Maersk.

Before issuing its first verification, Lloyd’s Register checked whether the CO2 emissions calculated in 2009 corresponded with what auditors could find in the vessel reporting system at Maersk Line’s central offices.

The audit process also included a visit on board Maersk Clementine to check whether its logs going back over time corresponded correctly with the information in reporting system.

Maersk Line wants to be a low carbon leader with the goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 25 percent from 2007-2020 per container moved. One of the company’s initiatives to reach its goal includes cutting the fuel consumption on major routes by as much as 30 percent by reducing the top cruising speed of its ships in half over the past two years.

A recent study shows that bulk carriers can reduce emissions by up to 40 percent by running slower.

Other companies are testing energy-saving devices and technologies to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

As an example, Hapag-Lloyd AG will be deploying the first installation of the Eniram’s dynamic trim technology, called Dynamic Trimming Assistant (DTA), on its container vessel, Osaka Express, in December 2010. The new technology is expected to help reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Hapag-Lloyd says it was one of the first shipping companies to reduce the speed of its vessels, which significantly reduces fuel consumption and environmental impact. The installation of DTA adds another environmentally-friendly initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of its ships.

Osaka Express, along with it’s 17 sister ships, is a 8,750 TEU vessel and will have three Eniram attitude sensors installed to ensure an accurate measure of current trim can be calculated at all times. The Eniram system also collects data such as propulsion power, vessel draft and movement and other variables such as weather and waves.

This data is then analyzed and an optimum trim level, based on this real-time data, is displayed in a graphical interface guiding the Osaka Express crew to make appropriate adjustments.

So far, DTA has demonstrated fuel consumption savings of one to five percent on similar vessels, according to Eniram. DTA has been deployed by another key international container line, as well as major cruise lines.

In September, ABS and the Shanghai Merchant Ship Design & Research Institute (SDARI) entered into a two-year joint research and development project to study the potential of an energy-saving device that could improve propulsion efficiency on a bulk carrier.

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