Navigating stormy waters

A new insight brief series from the Global Maritime Forum identifies four actions that shipping can take now to support its transition to a sustainable and resilient zero-emission future. It calls for better transparency and standardisation of performance data; scaling up pilots and best practices; contractual changes to encourage virtual arrival practices when there is a delay at the discharge port; and policies and regulations to enable new business models.

Eman Abdalla, Global Operations & Supply Chain Director at Cargill Ocean Transportation, one of the largest transporters of dry and bulk cargo in the world, said, “We need to clean up shipping supply chains and optimise our operations. To do this, we must collaborate, standardise, and be transparent.” 

Collaboration, standardisation, acceleration. There are certain words which crop up time and again in shipping. What is less tangible is action, which is urgently needed if the industry is to come close to meeting decarbonisation targets – and given up to 90% of international trade is transported by sea, we all have skin in the game.

The inherent problem is most ships are ordered years in advance; new low-carbon technologies can’t be switched on and scaled up in the time it takes to publish a report; and curiously, for most people, it remains hidden in plain sight, unlike aviation which everyone can see and relate to. It bobs along when environmentally, it needs to be full steam ahead.

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