Shippers Group Says No to Slower Steaming

Tuesday June 4, 2019

The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) says slower steaming is not the way for the industry to cut its GHG emissions and has warned policy makers not to act in isolation when it comes to new climate regs.

"GSF is calling for an open dialogue between the shipping industry and the government to ensure policy measures remain practical and supportive of growth and jobs, while addressing the need to radically decarbonise transport", says James Hookham, GSF Secretary General.

IMO's recent MEPC74 saw a big push to further reduce vessel speeds with the call coming from both climate activists as well as a group of some 100 shipowners, although no action on the matter was taken during the session.

The recently launched International Transport Forum (ITF) Transport Outlook 2019 also notes slower streaming as one of the options to help decarbonise transport.

"In the view of GSF, this would have very negative consequences for the buyers of maritime transport: the shippers. It would increase crossing times even further; therefore, it is not a sustainable solution," says Hookham.

GSF would instead like to see more progress on appropriate Market-Based Measures, saying the failure to reach any decisions at MEPC 74 was disappointing for shippers.

"It is crucial to select a measure that will incentivise technical and operational measures to reduce CO2 and not simply pass on additional costs to shippers or significantly increase transit times," GSF says.