It's Time to Decarbonize Shipping

Decarbonize Shipping

As the world’s GDP keeps growing, so does shipping’s carbon footprint. Now is the time to decarbonize shipping if we want to save our planet! 

While the shipping industry transports 90% of the world’s trade, it is also responsible for contributing nearly 3% of global emissions. This is just more than the entire carbon footprint of Germany. Studies predict that, if gone unchecked, this number could increase to 17% by 2050, as our global GDP continues to grow. 

Since before the Covid-19 outbreak, we have seen the movement towards more sustainable living growing globally. The pandemic has had a hand in speeding this up, and businesses are now being forced to act and practice what they preach when it comes to going green. This is impacting the shipping industry too. 

Making Waves

In a recent international climate summit in Glasgow, 14 nations signed a declaration to bring shipping emissions down to net-zero by 2050. In October 2021, we also saw some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon, Unilever and IKEA, pledging to move their cargo only on ships that are using zero-carbon fuel by year 2040. It doesn’t end here. Three of the largest container shipping lines in the world are also actively pursuing the use of alternative fuels. They aim to be net-zero compliant by 2050 or before. 

What Obstacles Need to Be Overcome

As you may have guessed, reducing carbon emissions of the shipping industry is easier said than done. These are some of the main obstacles that need to be overcome:

  • There is a lack of commercially viable technologies that create alternative, zero-emission fuels. Most of these are still in development by ship engine manufacturers. 
  • It is difficult to decide which country the carbon emissions should be assigned to, as there is global disunity. There is also disagreement of when the target of net-zero emissions should be achieved by, and who should be policing this. 


Where to Next?

Due to the drastic increase in freight rates, shipping companies are much more profitable than they used to be. This should leave them with more money to invest in ships that are able to run on green fuels, especially with this being more important to businesses when choosing shipping companies to work with. If we want to decarbonize shipping sooner rather than later, we also need to have global unity. It is vital that more members are on board with the net-zero 2050 declaration. More research needs to be done that can provide insight and really make it possible for this target to be achieved. 

As a part of the logistics industry, TSI’s technology is helping businesses achieve their sustainability targets by reducing paper due to the use of technology, and also reducing fuel usage and limiting driving due to better route planning. Get in touch to find out more about what we can do for your business. 

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