5 Green Technologies Taking Over Shipping Industry

5 Green Technologies Taking Over Shipping Industry

The shipping industry has been around for centuries and has revolutionized the way we live by connecting countries and cultures all over the globe. The influx of food, goods, and information from countries around the world has broadened people’s diets and minds and is a vital part of maintaining our world economy.

Here are the top seven environmentally friendly trends and technologies taking over the shipping industry today, with the goal of working towards a cleaner, greener world.

1. Slow Steaming

Slow steaming is the practice of simply running at a lower speed, which can significantly reduce fuel consumption on a voyage. This method of conserving fuel began as a way for companies to cut costs. Today, it is perhaps one of the most important trends in the shipping industry for reducing carbon emissions and is a highly simple, effective, and beneficial way of doing so.

2. Design More Efficient Ship Hulls 

The shape of a ship’s hull directly impacts the performance efficiency of the vessel, and an optimally designed hull can significantly increase speed and cut fuel costs. The traditionally shaped rounded hull is not as efficient at cutting through the water, and a more streamlined shape is beneficial for optimizing propulsion.

Particularly innovative designs employ air-cushion technology, where the front of the boat is shaped to allow for a cushion of air to form beneath the hull when the ship is in motion. This reduces friction between the ship and the water, allowing for greater propulsion with less expenditure of fuel, with the potential to achieve a 10-15% reduction of carbon emissions.

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3. Voyage Optimization 

Modern-day technologies allow us to predict the weather and likely maritime conditions with impressive accuracy, making voyages far safer and less unpredictable. Today, shipping companies commonly use this data to predict the likely performance of their ships in these conditions, and in doing so can make more informed decisions about which routes to take.
Bypassing routes in which the ship may not run as efficiently due to rough seas or high winds, many companies in the shipping industry use the practice of voyage optimization to reduce fuel consumption effectively.

4. Using Low Carbon Fuels

Cutting fuel consumption is an effective way for shipping companies to slash carbon emissions, but the enormous scale of the shipping industry means more needs to be done if they are to reduce their environmental impact significantly.
The development of low-carbon fuels is a promising new technology and should reduce the number of greenhouse and other noxious gases emitted by large cargo ships. By stripping away a larger quantity of impurities, such as ash and sulfur, these fuels can also have less impact on toxicity to both the environment and human health.

5. Skysails

SkySails is an ingeniously simple and relatively new invention that uses large kites to tow a cargo ship along during a voyage. The cost of implementing this technology is minimal, because it utilizes the limitless energy of wind power, and once in place, it can take the significant strain off the engine.
This increases propulsion efficiency, while simultaneously lowering fuel expenditure and cutting emissions.

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