The Next Wave: Green Corridors for global Shipping

Nineteen countries signed a declaration to set up ‘Green Shipping Corridors’ between two or more portsThe Clydebank Declaration was launched at COP26 to set zero-emission maritime routes. 

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The signatories to this Declaration are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Denmark, Fiji, Finland; the co-signers stated they aspire to sustain the planning of at least six green shipping corridors by the middle of the decade.

They stressed that it is about the voluntary participation of ships operators and considered it a vital element to establishing zero-carbon shipping corridors. It is, by all means, the next step for transition, along shipping and fuels value chains, in specific geographies. It would be beneficial to have a group of governments eager to support those efforts.

Primary cargo interests have promised to change their ocean freight to zero-carbon fuels by 2040. Several organisations support the just-released Cargo Owners for Zero-Emission Vessels (coZEV) initiative. For the time being, a new study, 'The Next Wave: Green Corridors,’ mentions that fostering this proposal could cut off this project complexity whilst accelerating the transition.

This study focuses on three particular passageways: the Korea-Japan-USA car carrier corridor, the Australia-Japan iron metal corridor, and the Europe-Asia container trade. There will be an expensive loss between diesel-based shipping zero-emission cargoes of about 25% to 65%.

Government action is imperative to reduce such cost mismatches on corridors, expecting to bring enormous dividends for the transition in general.

Panellists from those different countries bring about three urgent policies:

–        To cope with the use of coal.

–        The lack of commitment to eliminating inefficient subsidies of fossil fuels.

–        Inadequate financial support by rich countries for developing countries.

IMO – the International Maritime Organisation – is the United Nations specialised agency responsible for shipping safety and security and preventing marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. IMO works to support the UN sustainable development goals.  Positive outcomes bring more strong commitments both from ship owning and industry groups.

Supporters’ shipping emissions initiatives are vital for financiers, charters, cargoes, owners of Zero-Emissions vessels, including the heaviest weights such as Amazon, Ikea, Michelin, Unilever, Inditex, and significant insurers; this alliance bring about important businesses as their first countersigns.

These businesses stated that this agreement sent a significant signal to the Maritime value chain and fuel producers.

–        Amazon is addressing other cargo enterprises to collaborate to conduct the climate change movement.

–        Unilever has committed to completing net-zero emissions through their global value chain by 2039 and working with partners and other enterprises to fast-track the changeover towards cleaner transport alternatives.

–        IKEA global sustainability heads believe sustainable transportation solutions should be the main alternative to align with shipowners.

An essential pre-requisite for Supply Chain (SC) acceptance in the decarbonisation drive is a collaborative approach with cargo industries and the agreement on the cost and value to achieving emission reductions. Besides the European Union and its emissions trading scheme, there is a need for cargo owners to understand decarbonisation costs better.  We need to urge the whole industry to go forwards in unison to enhance fair competition and cheaper-less-regulated Shipping.

There have been multiple debates on this issue at the IMO level. Members proposed a carbon tax of at least $100 per ton on the industry emissions; however, getting new rules approved usually takes a long time at the global Maritime society.

Other vital parties besides the IMO, comprising the European Union, are accelerating their strategies for the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Regardless of opposition from various groups, including some shipowners and other trading partners, ETS could start to impact Shipping from 2022. The stress should be on the importance of the Regional and Development Fund, with more than 200 research projects awaiting funding.

However, the truth is that the queue of ships waiting to dock at the two principal USA entryway ports keeps growing – a record of 96 containerships.  After at least twelve months of many containers, images at ports put the SC and Shipping industry in front of the public.  The great concern is the pollution vessels burning fuel for weeks plus the closeness to shore-suburban areas.

A new queuing system was introduced from mid-November based on the last Port of Call (LPOC) before Los Angeles and Long Beach to replace year-systems based on arrival at ports. The new queuing system aims to reduce the number of ships Safety and Air Quality Area (SAQA) to the capacity of the harbours, with vessels earlier hanging around in the area near the docks waiting – moving much further away in a new queuing order.

Summing up: Green Shipping Corridors will require some time to set up.  Shipping enterprises need to reduce emissions by reducing ships total at harbours. So, they can be sent further from our shores instead of waiting long days in our air-quality basin; through these procedures, they would not contribute to local air-quality issues.

Will one of these initiatives help you to solve your shipping challenges?

Dave Food

M: +44 7775 861863

Photo by Tomáš Malík on Unsplash