Inmarsat published a new decarbonisation report exploring the impact digital technology can make on shipping’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Research suggests that digital decarbonising technologies alone can achieve up to a 38% reduction in absolute carbon emissions, with significant improvements to carbon intensity metrics at the same time.
- Fleet intelligence, voyage optimisation, weather routing and reducing trade friction all demonstrate impressive reductions in idle time and inefficient processes, resulting in the prevention of millions of tons of CO₂.
- Greater connectivity and digital data processing creates margin gains too, with profitability increases of between 4 and 17% demonstrated in trials, and uplifts of up to 50% predicted in some cases.
- How enhanced connectivity enables digital technologies that deliver positive outcomes for the health and wellbeing of ship’s crew, and reduce the environmental cost of diverting ships for reactive treatments.
ompiled by maritime innovation consultancy Thetius, and sponsored by the Inmarsat Research Programme, The Optimal Route – The Why and How of Digital Decarbonisation in Shipping, provides evidence that digital optimisation offers a key strategy for owners set on meeting International Maritime Organization (IMO) CO2 targets for 2050.
The report recommends that shipowners ‘Know your numbers’ as Step 1 in the process. Owners should also be in a position to measure vessel performance against metrics including the Carbon Intensity Index (CII) and the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI).
Based on the findings, Step 2 recommends developing a roadmap for decarbonisation, to include a flexible approach to asset purchasing and development. Step 3 advises owners to participate in green corridor schemes to gain access to favourable ship finance.
The report goes on to outline the industry’s ‘pathway to 2050’, highlighting the policy-based initiatives that will play the most significant role in guiding shipping towards decarbonisation.
- ‘Just-in-time clauses for voyage charter parties 2021’;
- The Poseidon Principles ship finance charter, which seeks to encourage financial institutions to invest in greener vessels;
- Global maritime carbon levies to accelerate the uptake of zero-carbon fuels;
- The Sustainable Shipping Initiative’s ‘beyond compliance’ scheme.
New regulations and changes to the way cargo owners are selecting transport partners mean that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option and this report from Inmarsat and Thetius demonstrates a positive way forward for shipowners
said Ben Palmer, President at Inmarsat Maritime.
Furthermore, according to the report, software that facilitates the remote execution of surveys and inspections, training and certification, and vessel pilotage can support environmentally friendly operations, as can those enabling paperless trade and voyage optimisation.
What is more, carriers that don’t step up their efforts to invest in digital decarbonisation technology and embrace innovation, could find themselves redundant in the rapidly evolving ocean freight sector. T
The reasons for this are complex and are the result of change drivers emerging from multiple parts of the global supply chain from trade finance to the standards and regulatory framework
says the report.
Despite this, some of the solutions are simple. As a starting point, the report present three steps that all shipping companies can take immediately and with relatively modest investment:
- Know your numbers: Gather as much data from your ships and assets as possible and measure current performance against recognised benchmarks such as the EEXI and CII. Ideally, these measurements should be automated by working with an IoT platform to ensure that data is consistent, comprehensive, and comparable.
- Implement a digital decarbonization strategy: Use the results from the measurements gathered to draw up a digital transformation roadmap, identify data silos and investigate how to liberate them, identify cargo blindspots and consider how to bring visibility to cargo owners, and build flexibility into your fleet
renewal program that allows for an uncertain trajectory for global decarbonisation regulations.
- Prepare to participate in green corridor schemes: These will be voluntary, but there is reason to believe that participating in them will bring commercial and competitive advantages which might prove very impactful over time.