The deadline is coming for the ocean shipping industry. On January 1st, there is a new environmental requirement that vessels must follow. Essentially, their sulfur content of their fuel must drop from the current state of 1% to .1% by January 1st. This rule is required for ships within 200 miles of the US and Canada. The International Maritime Organization is enforcing this new rule. The purpose is to help the environment. Shipping companies need to make changes to adapt by then, including purchasing new expense fuels. And the fuel rules could change future ocean freight shipping rates.
American Shipper magazine is reporting of a shipping company that is doing something a little different regarding this issue. General Dynamic’s National Steel and Shipbuilding Co (NASSCO) in San Diego is currently building two ships that will be fueled by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). By running on LNG, these ships far exceed any known or potential environmental laws. By 2016, TOTE’s Sea Star Line Subsidiary will operate these two LNG-powered ships for trade between the US and Puerto Rico. NASSCO will also build two other LNG vessels for operation between Tacoma, Washington and Alaska by 2017. These would be the first LNG-powered ships going through these lanes.
This is exciting news for the entire shipping industry. When a shipping company goes above and beyond the environmental rules, this reflects greatly on the entire transportation industry. If you are concerned about how the new environmental rules might impact your shipping strategy, contact your trusted freight forwarder. They can show you everything that you need to know.