A solution based on efficiency
Today’s fleet must be made more efficient at the same time as work on lower-carbon fuels, infrastructure and vessel design increases pace. Measures include improving the quality of fuels and lubricants.
The dilemma for the shipping industry presented in Decarbonising Shipping: All Hands On Deck report is the balance between the need for change and the cost of change. The report shows an industry ready to work together to make change. It proposes 12 practical solutions that balance the costs with the benefits of change.
The solutions span the short, medium and long term. They range from co-ordinating industry commitments, to increasing research and development across sectors, and expanding infrastructure to supply and store cleaner fuels. The 12th solution is one that applies to all stages, whether to existing assets or future ships, and that is operational efficiency.
The report presents the industry’s view that today’s fleet must be made more efficient at the same time as work on lower-carbon fuels, infrastructure and vessel design increases pace. Measures include improving the quality of fuels and lubricants, managing energy consumption better and increasing digitalisation. For instance, using data and smart navigation could reduce delays at ports and result in fewer ships left idling outside.
The Shell perspective
As an operator of a large fleet of tankers and a supplier of marine fuels, lubricants and services, Shell has a stake in the future of shipping. In 2019, Shell agreed a long-term deal to charter a fleet of 10 LNG dual-fuel Aframax crude oil tankers and long-term charters for eight new high technology LNG carriers that will be equipped with energy efficient technologies such as air lubrication and digital performance management to further reduce emissions. Grahaeme Henderson, Shell’s Vice President of Shipping and Maritime, said: “LNG is a cleaner-burning and lower-carbon fuel, so ship owners are increasingly using it to help achieve their environmental ambitions in a cost-effective way.”
Joris van Brussel, General Manager, Shell Marine, takes a broad approach: “We provide lubricant products and technical expertise. This helps our customers improve engine efficiency, reduce energy and lubricant consumption and lower their costs.” One example is the smart systems that monitor the performance of lubricants in engines while a vessel is at sea. Another uses machine learning to give customers live information on how their equipment is performing so they can intervene before a break-down.
One example is the smart systems that monitor the performance of lubricants in engines while a vessel is at sea. Another uses machine learning to give customers live information on how their equipment is performing so they can intervene before a break-down.
Shell is also working with the shipping group Maersk, the Port of Rotterdam and others, on Pronto, a platform aiming to make operations at Europe’s busiest port more efficient. These so-called “just-in-time” operations hinge on letting ships know in advance the best time for them to arrive, depending on factors such as space and the availability of pilots and tug boats. This allows a ship to adjust travelling speed and make its journey more efficient and to reduce the emissions it would have emitted waiting outside the port. Trials have shown this to reduce waiting times by around 20%.
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Shipping is vital to the global economy and never more so than during the global pandemic, keeping up the supply of essential goods.
The scale of the challenge to cut carbon emissions in the shipping industry requires urgent action on many fronts and across the whole industry.
Read the latest report “Decarbonising Shipping: All Hands on Deck” which outlines industry perspectives on how to accelerate decarbonisation of the shipping sector.