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Published September 9, 2013 10:04 AM

The Eugen Maersk and the Future of Clean Shipping

Unless you're a particularly dedicated shipping enthusiast, it's safe to say that you have probably not come across the name "Eugen Maersk" before. However, it's time that you commit it to memory, as she may well be the future of clean shipping.

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At full capacity, she weighs in at well over 150,000 tonnes (a weight equivalent to almost a thousand adult blue whales). This bulk is matched by her size — she stretches for more than four football pitches in length, coming in at 397 metres.

She takes more than four miles to come to a complete stop from full speed, and burns through significantly more than two hundred tonnes of bunker fuel in one single day. This fuel gives off a large amount of pollution; the total sum of all global shipping activity is responsible for more than three per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

This isn't such a bad thing — after all, shipping is by far the greenest method of transporting goods from one side of the globe to another. However, because shipping is used for roughly 90% of global trade, it still adds up. Thankfully, the industry is looking for solutions to this problem.

Possible Solution— Lower Sulphur Fuel

The above stats about the Eugen Maersk are somewhat outdated now; these days, she's using a low sulphur fuel, meaning she's putting out a lot less in terms of pollutants.

In fact, Maersk — the Danish business conglomerates — say that she has been giving off sulphur dioxide emissions at a rate reduced by 85%. This is of course of great benefit in all respects.

Green Ships

So-called "green ships" are being looked upon as a solution for an industry that is suffering; oil prices are currently at a high, and there's an excess of capacity in terms of shipping. Instead of upping prices and increasing income, it is believed that cutting costs is the best way to increase those all-important profit margins.

A good way to do this is by using said green ships (or "eco-ships") — fuel is notoriously expensive, so by aiming for greater fuel efficiency, a company can stand to save a lot of money.
Companies such as logistics specialists and marine suppliers alike (you can find out more about the latter by clicking here) stand to benefit from advances in eco-ship technology. "Bigger is better" has become the phrase of the moment once more; bigger vessels will use less fuel overall, especially when traveling at economical speeds.

Continue reading at ENN affiliate, Clean Techies.

Shipping image via Shutterstock.

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