Environmental sustainability has become a central issue in the transportation and logistics sector. Unprecedented 21st century globalization has elicited a growing concern for a greener planet. With growing merchandise trade, shipping is a mode of transport which has proven to be ecologically sustainable and safe with minimal damage to resources, natural or man made.
Maritime shipping is an environmentally friendly and efficient mode of transport. In comparison to land and air traffic, it produces fewer emissions in terms of the load and distance transported, and is substantially more energy-efficient.
Shipping is also the safest mode of transport protecting human, environment and animal life due to strict maritime laws enforceable through International Maritime Organization, (IMO). Chemical pollution, garbage and sewage dumping are all governed by international regulations put into place by the IMO. Prevention of Marine Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is an important regulation that covers these areas.
Thus shipping can maintain its reputation of being an Eco friendly mode of transportation. Maritime transportation accounts for 90% of cross-border world trade as measured by volume. The nature of water transport and its economies of scale make it the most energy efficient mode since it uses only 7% of all the energy consumed by transport activities, a figure way below its contribution to the mobility of goods.Thus being energy efficient results in shipping having less green house gas and carbon pollution.
The shipping industry worldwide takes pollution prevention seriously. In the case of oil pollution which is a major issue, the IMO has introduced measures that help ensure that the majority of oil tankers are safely built and operated. Care is taken to see that the tankers are constructed to reduce the amount of oil spilled in the event of an accident. In fact Oil spill frequencies and its resulting hazardous impact on the water ecosystems have decreased significantly over the past 20 years, particularly in the last few years, despite overall increases in oil movement
The shipping industry is committed to sustainability and is on a constant watch to include best practices in order to make shipping greener. Green Shipping practices are being adopted in every aspect of the Industry.
Adhering to Corporate Social Responsibility and Client demands, several shipping freight and service-based companies have undertaken greener solutions to maritime trade. Many vessels now use LNG instead of diesel to reduce air emissions; moreover automated engines have been employed in place of manual ones to optimize fuel efficiency. FED-EX and USPR are two such shipping container lines that use alternative fuel fleets to increase fuel productivity.
Ships are now being painted with biocide free paint and hydro-gel coating which not only keeps pollutants out of the sea but also reduces Carbon di oxide emissions, as the paint lessens resistance and saves fuel. Hence, priority for aquatic life is now on a practical agenda. All this and more just goes to show that Shipping as an industry cares for the sector it works in and is focused on a greener future.