The tides are turning again for the shipping industry, this time in regards to energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. In the past, there hasn’t been much incentive for any of the world’s major shipping agencies to improve the performance of their ships. Now though, with ship owners being heavily scrutinized on the eco-efficiency of their vessels, and activist groups like RightShip and ShippingEfficiency.org urging companies to develop and implement cleaner, more fuel efficient ships, things are moving in more commendatory directions.
Earlier this month, three of the industry’s largest companies (which together ship greater than 300 million tons of commodities each year) agreed to employ their most fuel efficient ships exclusively. Huntsman, UNIPEC, and Cargill’s decision to track and enlist only their cleanest ships has sent ripples around the world while simultaneously solving a problem that all multinational businesses have faced: how to reduce consumers’ bottom line and the impact that global shipping has had on the planet.
Numerous companies have already succeeded in combating counterproductivity in supply chains, but the challenge has always been bigger when it comes to global shipping. Shipping fuel is one of the “dirtiest” forms of energy and many have cried for more local shopping, however, trade across international lines has been crucial for global economies since the beginning of time and is unlikely to change in any foreseeable future.
Thanks largely in part to the work of ShippingEffeiciency.org, other agencies can now join in the ranks of UNIPEC, Cargill, and Huntsman who are now beacons of hope at the forefront of positive environmental change. Other shipping companies can now follow the same or a similar plan of action. This announcement is a game changer for the industry and the world’s citizens on the whole which should be applauded.