Germanischer Lloyd’s (GL) North American Committee, considered current topics & challenges to the shipping industry at its recent Texas meeting.
The challenge of improving vessel efficiency heads the agenda of every ship owner and operator. With sailing speeds reduced across the board, fuel efficiency has become the biggest lever to increase cost competitiveness. Both regulatory agencies and the industry are developing mechanisms to improve efficiency and in 2013 the IMO’s EEDI and SEEMP regulations will enter into force, in an effort to spur innovation and reduce CO2 emissions.
David Greening of Seaspan, one of the world’s largest independent containership companies, set out his firm’s response to the challenge of rising bunker prices and a tighter regulatory environment. Seaspan was investing in highly efficient designs for new vessels, while undertaking a system to improve operational energy use, including draft and trim optimization, and using vessel based monitoring to track KPIs.
In a multi-tier market that differentiates between vessels based on their efficiency, improved energy use can result in significantly improved employment opportunities and earnings. One under utilised area in shipping to realise such gains is the implementation of software systems. Kristinn Aspelund, of GL partner firm Marorka, examined some of the systems available to owners and operators to boost efficiency and cut fuel use.
The Committee, which celebrated its inauguration in 2010, is made up of representatives from Canadian and American ship owners and operators, ship yards, maritime consultants, and other industry stakeholders, alongside delegates from classification society GL.