Tag Archive for: international shipping

Blockchain use for fuel supply traceability

Blockchain technology looks set to increase transparency and traceability in the marine fuel supply chain to create better compliance and stronger governance.

A new consortium will demonstrate the application of blockchain as a means of facilitating transparency as part of the maritime-focused Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) initiative

“We are delighted to be involved with a consortium that could play an important role in realising the transformative potential of blockchain within shipping, beginning with a timely and relevant first use case in the bunker industry,” said Grant Hunter, head of contracts & clauses at BIMCO, one of the consortium partners.

“Blockchain “Smart Contracts” based on harmonised terms and conditions like the BIMCO Bunker Terms 2018 could be a stepping stone for the industry to achieve greater transparency and efficiency.”

Evaluation

The consortium will bring together Lloyd’s Register, Precious Shipping, Bostomar, BIMCO, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), and GoodFuels.

It will evaluate how blockchain technologies could help to provide an efficient, tamper-resistant and auditable chain of custody on quality and quantity recording activities, together with a reputation system of the compliance of fuels prior to purchase, benefitting both buyers and regulatory bodies.

Such characteristics help to provide greater confidence in the fuel being purchased, ultimately resulting in reduced safety risk and creating a more trustworthy framework for accurately monitoring emissions from shipping such as sulphur and carbon.

The project represents the initial stage of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation-funded MBL initiative, the first true industry collaboration for the creation of blockchain technology in the maritime space.

Source: The Motorship

A sustainable maritime industry in a 2°C scenario – has the ship already sailed?

Shipping has long been a fundamental enabler of trade, although its important role may go unnoticed. Think about where the clothes you are wearing were made and how they arrived here. What about your phone? How did its components all come together to reach your hand right now? It’s very likely that shipping played a role in both examples. How is this all made possible?

Containerisation, a system of multimodal transport storage, means that ships remain the cheapest and most efficient transport method. Today, they can carry tens of thousands of containers around the globe with only a small crew.

The industry has been growing at a remarkable rate. Already producing 2.5% of global carbon emissions, this industry is expected to grow by between 50% and 250% by 2050. Shipping fuel is often much more dense and polluting than that allowed on land, presenting an environmental challenge that needs to be met by more sustainable measures in the shipping industry.

WHERE ARE WE NOW?

The acclaimed Paris climate agreement in 2015 achieved great success in establishing binding carbon targets by sector. However, due to extensive lobbying of the International Marine Organisation (IMO), shipping was the only sector excluded from legally binding emissions reductions. This has impacted the drive towards developing more sustainable fuels and shipping systems, despite the IMO committing to some form of carbon reductions.

As a result, international shipping legislation around environmental impacts has been slow. But there has been some progress. A recent development was the introduction of a lower sulphur content cap for shipping fuels from 3.5% to 0.5% from 2020, with an aim to improve air quality near ports and shipping routes.

Environmental legislation is increasingly coming from regional and local levels, although its impacts are felt at a global scale. A notable example is the EU, which has declared that any ship over 5,000 tonnes must monitor, report and verify their annual carbon emissions from 1 January 2018. This drive for sustainability has come from individual ports as well. For instance, the Port of London Authority has introduced a 5% discounted green tariff for more environmentally friendly ships.

WHERE ARE WE GOING?

These examples look set to become trends, with increasing responsibility being taken by port authorities. The World Ports Sustainability Programme (WPSP) was launched in March this year, aimed at creating holistic sustainability plans for ports to shape the shipping sector thorough a series of tariffs, investment, efficiency improvements, and bans.

There has been much innovation regarding clean-energy shipping, including the soon-approaching world-first electric, driver-less barge; hydrogen-powered shipping; and a solar-powered bulk-carrier ship. However, these technologies are unlikely to contribute significantly to carbon reductions in the shipping sector any time soon. The near future of sustainable shipping therefore looks increasingly based around new fuel blends, efficiency measures, and taxes. Unlike road fuels, marine fuels are currently not taxed, and a CO2 tax is gaining momentum worldwide. This method helps to drive the cheapest emissions reductions, through optimisation of shipping speeds, fuel shifts and efficiency improvements.

The sector is facing some big changes, although the mechanisms remain unclear. If sustainable shipping is to make a tangible contribution to global climate targets, both international legislative pressure and bottom-up regional and port-led initiatives will need to be ambitious, economically viable, and aligned.

Action or inaction in the industry will also have significant consequences for the outcomes of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), most notably SDG 13 on climate action and SDG 14 relating to life below water. The maritime industry will need to play an integral role in development that conserves our oceans and marine resources, an essential requirement for a sustainable future.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News