The slowing of cargo ships prevents the emission of 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases and 1,000 tons of general air pollutants every year, the port estimated.
The Port of Long Beach recently applauded 136 shipping lines for participating in the port’s voluntary Green Flag Incentive Program, which offers financial incentives for cargo vessels to slow down near the port to reduce air pollution.
Ocean carriers were presented with green flags for opting into the initiative last year by slowing ships to 12 knots or less within 20 or 40 nautical miles of the Port of Long Beach, the port said Thursday. The program was initiated in 2005, and vessel speed reductions have since started to be included as a requirement of new leases with the port’s terminal operator tenants.
The 136 shipping lines met or exceeded the program’s required 90% participation rate at either 20 or 40 nautical miles, including 95.8% of vessels slowing down within 20 nautical miles and 91.14% within 40 nautical miles, the port said.
The port estimated the slowing of cargo ships prevents the emission of 45,000 tons of greenhouse gases and 1,000 tons of general air pollutants annually.
“Our shipping line partners play an important role in our efforts to improve air quality at the port and our surrounding communities,” said Tracy Egoscue, president of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, in a statement. “We’ve made dramatic reductions in air pollution emissions thanks to the industry and its enthusiastic cooperation.”
Ocean carriers meeting the 90% or higher compliance rate are eligible for a 25% reduction in dockage rates at the 40 nautical mile mark and a 15% break for those slowing down within 20 nautical miles.
A study released earlier this week by environmental nonprofit and investment research provider CDP found slow steaming to be a viable short-term option for ocean carriers to reduce emissions by up to 30%. A speed reduction of 10% to 15% can reduce fuel consumption by 30% to 40% for bulk fleet with potential higher reductions for container vessels, the study said.