Container ships are the world's largest consumers of bunker fuel. Image Credit: Hapag-Lloyd
Container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd has seen significant savings on its fuel bills on some vessels with new antifouling measures.
Last year the new measures were carried out on 39 of the company's ships, Hapag-Lloyd said in its 2020 sustainability report this week, delivering fuel savings of about 15%.
The growth of marine life including seaweed and barnacles on a ship's hull can make stark changes to its hydrodynamics and fuel efficiency. Several companies sell antifouling paints designed to discourage marine life growth, as well as hull cleaning solutions.
Traditionally these measures have been taken on primarily to save shipping companies money on their fuel bills, but the International Maritime Organization's carbon intensity targets for 2030 now provide a second reason.
Hapag-Lloyd said last year that it had already reached the IMO's 2030 target, reducing carbon emissions per transport work by more than 40% from 2008's levels. In its 2020 sustainability report the company has not released updated figures for how its carbon intensity was affected by last year's turmoil in the shipping industry.