Thursday, March 14, 2013

Container Shipping Lines Have New Services Whilst One Freight Group Cleans Up

Trio of Box Carriers Announce New IDEA and French Show Off Greener Credentials
Shipping News Feature

TAIWAN – KOREA – DUBAI - FRANCE – WORLDWIDE - In container shipping news this week Evergreen has announced a new intercontinental service in partnership with two other box carriers, whilst CMA CGM has gone to great lengths to explain the progress it is making in ensuring that in future its vessels will be more environmentally friendly with lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions when carrying freight around the globe.

Evergreen has announced it will team up with Hanjin and Simatech to launch the new IDEA service linking the Indian sub-continent, Persian Gulf and East Africa from late this month. Four 2,500-2,800 teu vessels will be deployed on the joint service. The first sailing is planned from Mundra (Northwest India) on the 26th of March 2013 with a port rotation of: Mundra – Karachi - Jebel Ali – Mombasa - Dar es Salaam – Mundra.

CMA CGM meanwhile has been extolling the virtues of not only its flagship, the CMA CGM Marco Polo, at 16,020 TEU currently the largest containership in the world, but also its new similarly prefixed vessels Alexander Von Humboldt and Jules Verne, due for delivery in May and June 2013 respectively. All three vessels have a smorgasbord of environmentally advantageous technology including: electronically controlled engines and exhaust gas bypass systems, both designed to cut CO2 emissions; twisted leading edge rudders improving the hydrodynamics of the vessels plus optimised hull design; a Pre-Swirl Stator® which straightens the water flow upstream from the propeller in order to improve its efficiency.

Combined with the twisted leading edge rudder, this last innovation optimizes the hydrodynamics of the vessel and makes it possible to reduce by 2 to 4% energy consumption and therefore improves atmospheric emissions. In line with new MARPOL regulations the ships are additionally equipped with ballast water treatment systems.

CMA CGM says it is working to make further improvements and extend its green credentials with such advances as Fast Oil Recovery Systems, an emergency towing system, trash compactors combined with the sorting of recyclables plus additional tanks for treating bilge, engine and grey waters. Mechanically the group is working with shipyards and ranking agencies such as Bureau Veritas and DNV on several projects of LNG-fuelled containerships. It is in this context that a recent joint project with Bureau Veritas and the shipyard DSME was carried out, leading to preliminary approval of the studies and specifications.

In order to cut back its sulphur emissions, CMA CGM chooses to use a fuel of a higher-quality than required by the current regulation, with sulphur concentration estimated at 2.57% (or lower in certain areas) instead of 3.5% and in 2012, the CO2 performance of the Group improved by 6%. Since 2005, the CMA CGM Group says it has already reduced its CO2 emissions by 37% per container transported and per kilometre, making it the most impressive reduction in the history of the industry, whilst it is aiming for a reduction of 50% by 2015.

The French line has taken membership of several groups in the past decade all aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of merchant shipping, these include the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association, signing a charter on the use of fuel with low sulphur content as the only fuel for all ships calling at Hong Kong, the Green Cargo Group whose goal is to draft measures to evaluate and improve freight transport plus the ‘Charte Bleue Armateurs de France’. By signing this charter, CMA CGM confirmed its commitment to prevent and manage pollution risks, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to manage garbage and waste effectively.

As well as striving to run its fleet more efficiently CMA CGM has continued its efforts to make shipping containers themselves more environmentally respectable. In 2005, CMA CGM was the first to develop and invest in bamboo-floored containers and these innovative units have a dual purpose: to limit the use of rare tropical wood species, while improving the container’s technical qualities. The Group has just finalized the purchase of 50,000 bamboo eco-containers with 25,000 Light Steel containers.

Coupled with the advances made in reefer design which mean energy consumption is reduced by as much as two thirds and further experimentation with resin floored boxes which negate the need for wood altogether CMA CGM is confident it is doing its utmost to show a cleaner ocean freight industry to the watching world.