A requirement for ships to go slow in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could be counterproductive, says the Coalition for Responsible Transportation.
The Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), a group that advocates for beneficial cargo owners and other segments of the shipping industry, said Thursday that while it supports the development of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals being developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), it is opposed to mandated speed restrictions for ships.
France and Greece have called for a speed reduction regulation prior to a meeting of the IMO’s Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) in London from May 13 to 17.
“Any use of slow steaming should be done on a voluntary basis through the marketplace between the business interests involved,” said CRT. “Without a recognition of the complete supply chain, mandated speed restrictions for all vessels at sea will be counterproductive.”
Stephen Cadden, the group’s executive director, said with slower ships “additional vessels, increased inventory carrying costs and changes to land-based distribution networks and transport modes to offset lost time are likely. Any speed regulation must look at the supply chain as a whole to avoid moving the challenge from sea to land.”
The group also believes “mandated slow steaming will have the opposite effect, encouraging the continued use of technology and fuels that do not address air quality issues and offer no reduction in GHG emissions.”
Members of the group include Amazon, Best Buy, BigLots, Home Depot, Lowe’s, HP Inc., Target, the Retail Industry Leaders Association, port authorities and transportation and logistics companies such as BNSF Railway, NFI, Road Way and GSC Logistics.