The following shipping companies participated in the 2017 vessel speed reduction (VSR) incentive program: CMA CGM; Evergreen; Hamburg Sud, Hapag Lloyd, Hyundai, K Line, Maersk, Matson, MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company); NYK (Nippon Yusen Kaisha) Ro-Ro Division, and Yang Ming. The program is a collaborative effort by all the agencies and organizations listed above.
These companies managed to reduce speeds to 12 knots or less in two regions, in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Santa Barbara Channel region. The voluntary incentive program started on July 1 and ended on November 15, 2017.
The program gave incentives, which ranged from $1,000 to $ 2,500. A bonus of $250 was given if the ship slowed to 10 knots or less, which is considered more protective for whales.
Automatic Identification System data for ship speeds in the program showed that more than 140 transits were successful in reducing speeds to 12 knots or less, and more than half of these achieved a bonus incentive for slowing to 10 knots or less. The program reduced 83.5 tons of emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a smog-forming air pollutant, and 2,630 metric tons of greenhouse gases.
Additionally, 75% of the transits between the two slow-speed regions did not speed up along the coast in between, and 60% traveled slower than their previous baseline speeds.