The speed to carry goods to market cannot be sustained as the primary performance indicator if we are to demonstrate good environmental principles, claims Arild B Iversen, CEO, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL).
Delivering the keynote speech on the opening day of the RoRo 2008 Conference in Gothenburg, Mr. Iversen said that vessel speeds drive cost upwards and increase emissions.
"A two knots speed reduction from Asia to Europe would cut CO2 emissions per transported unit from 1163 kgs per car to 919 kgs per car, a cut of 21 per cent, creating a significantly positive impact on the environment. Although voyage times would increase by four days, fuel consumption would drop by 17 per cent," claimed Mr. Iversen.
Mr Iversen said that RoRo and vehicle carrying shipping lines need to have discussions with their customers to find out whether they are prepared to accept the lengthier voyage times in return for playing their part in conserving and preserving the maritime environment in this tough competitive environment. He said cutting voyage times would only become an option when the tonnage capacity in the RoRo trades improved. As a response to the under tonnage problem Mr. Iversen reported that Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics had 25 eco-friendly ships due to enter service within the next four years.
He also reasoned that the key to intelligent ocean transport was closer customer cooperation and smarter vessels: ships designed for fuel efficiency, greater cargo flexibility and a lower environmental footprint, rather than outright speed.
"Flexibility and focus are becoming the hallmarks of developing cost efficient factory-to-dealer logistics solutions. We need to have a dialogue with customers, politicians, shipbuilders, ports and other stakeholders to explore how we together can minimize the ecological footprint of our industry. We should also explore new performance measurements that take the environment into account and not just time from port-to-port", Mr. Iversen said.
He pointed out that advanced supply chain management would allow for optimal and cost efficient transport and that good hub and spoke systems were central to increasing efficiency.
Mr. Iversen concluded his speech by saying: "It is our ambition to remain an environmental forerunner by reducing fuel consumption, cutting emissions and minimising the impact of the release of ballast water into the oceans."
"We are working with the WWF, the global environment organisation, to develop a global maritime transport policy which will create a new groundbreaking framework for sustainable shipping covering such aspects as vessel design, fuel quality, approved sailing routes, emissions into air and sea, reduction in noise pollution, vessel recycling and better reporting on environmental matters".