In 2013, a proposal was announced which would effectively make the monitoring, reporting and verification of fuel usage and carbon emissions compulsory within the shipping industry. Since then, there has been a call for the proposal to include a clause stating that the industry must also work to reduce their carbon emissions.
So what does this mean for the distribution and freight forwarding industry ?
Under current regulations, the shipping industry has no legal obligations to reduce its carbon emissions, despite being responsible for a reported 3% of all global emissions (around 1 billion tonnes each year), a number which is expected to double by 2050 if nothing is done to stop it.
Three major European committees were invited to vote on the proposal, with the EP energy committee showing favourable support. With the final votes due to take place before mid-February, how would stricter control over shipping emissions affect the distributors who rely on freight forwarding?
The importance of greener industries in today’s environmentally conscious world can play a big part in the supply and distribution industry
Companies and consumers are veering towards green-friendly businesses. The warehousing and distribution industry relies heavily on shipping, with billions of tonnes worth of goods being transported globally each year. It’s a competitive business, with smaller companies outsourcing their distribution and consumer demand increasing.
An industry wide clamp down could also save a lot of money, which could in turn lower bulk shipping costs for distributors. According to research, the annual savings of reduced carbon emissions through automated fuel monitoring within the shipping industry could be in the region of €9 million.
In its current state, the proposal only includes large ships with a gross tonnage of over 5,000, so distribution companies who use smaller shipping vessels would be largely unaffected, although there are those who are campaigning for the proposal to include smaller ships.
With the final voting period just a matter of weeks away, the shipping industry looks set to change the way it uses and monitors its fuel. The warehousing industry can embrace this change and use it to their advantage by lowering their overheads and encouraging environmentally conscious consumers.