There seems to be a big worry in the international shipping industry regarding the new sulfur emissions requirements that are set to begin on January 1st 2015. Essentially, these are new environmental laws are put in place through the International Maritime Organization to limit emissions from the vessels. These sulfur emissions are a big cause of acid rain. Some people will tell you that these regulations are going to change everything about ocean shipping, including your ocean freight rates. However, after looking closely at the rule changes and circumstances, the impact of the new sulfur regulations might be slightly exaggerated.
The concept of sulfur regulations in the logistics industry began in 1972 with discussions. Before 2010, the sulfur emission limits were 1.50% m/m. After 2010, it changed to 1.00% m/m. Starting in January, the emissions level will be .1% m/m. So the industry has dealt with sulfur emission changes before.
In addition, the regulations only involve certain Emission Control Areas like the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and off the coast of North America. And there are outside areas on the seas that will not see any new rules until 2020.
Finally, new technology is making it easier for shipping lines to adapt to the new rules. There are exhaust gas cleaning systems to check levels. And ExxonMobile announced they have new fuels in stock to meet these 2015 sulfur limits and lower the risk of engine damage.
If you have any more concerns about these new emissions laws, speak to your trusted freight forwarder.