Original news was published on 19 October 2018
Improved data sharing about berth availability at ports could deliver “substantial savings” for shipping lines, according to new research commissioned by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and research institute TNO.
The findings mark the conclusion of a study looking at the utilization of berths and sailing speeds on approach, particularly during the last 12 hours before docking of a vessel.
“If sea-going vessels are regularly kept informed … about exactly when their berth will become available, they will be able to adapt their sailing speed accordingly,” a spokesperson for Rotterdam said.
Shorter Breakbulk Anchorage Times
The report’s authors estimate that this would not only lower emissions of carbon dioxide, sulphur oxides and nitrous oxides but, due to shorter waiting times for ships in anchorage areas, deliver significant costs savings when scaled across fleets.
“If this waiting time was an average of 12 hours shorter, that would really make a difference in percentage terms,” said Jan Hulskotte, senior researcher at TNO.
As the largest port in Europe, the port of Rotterdam, covers 105 square kilometers and is home to some of the densest maritime traffic corridors in the world, making the findings significant when considered across all traffic. Consisting of five distinct port areas and three distribution parks, the port’s hinterland serves an estimated 40 million consumers and handles 30,000 ocean-going vessels and 105,000 inland vessels per year.
Through analysis of the movements of container ships sailing to Rotterdam port in 2017 the report’s authors were able to calculate that adjusting sailing speed by an average of 5 percent was enough to cut more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
“By supplying more accurate information to ships, 4 percent – or 134,000 tonnes – of CO2 emissions can be saved every year,” Hulskotte said.
“In percentage terms, we’re talking about modest amounts … but it’s exactly these types of measures that can make a huge difference in the short term and help reduce the carbon footprint of marine shipping. Added to that, they’d also have a beneficial effect on the wallets of the shipping companies,” said Astrid Dispert, technical adviser of the Global Maritime Energy Eﬀiciency Partnerships project.