Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Seaports and ocean carriers pursue sustainable goals

By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
November 09, 2010

Ocean carriers and ports are not often given the chance to share the stage when it comes to articulating a common strategy.  Even when pursuing a similar goal, the tactics can be at cross purposes. Yet, “Beyond the Factory Gates: Extending Sustainability into the Logistics and Transportation Sector,” proved to be one of the more compelling panel discussions at last week’s BSR conference in New York.

“The logistics and transportation sector can be a valuable partner for global retailers and manufactures looking to maintain and extend sustainability into their supply chains,” said Raj Sapru, director, advisory services for BSR.

He also noted that a fair amount of collaboration would be needed in the future to counter public perception: “Containerized shipping is still beneath the radar for a lot of consumers.”

Jacob A. Sterling, head of climate and environment sustainability for Maersk Line, agreed, observing many of the advances in transport technology have yet to be properly recognized.

“Consumers see their goods arriving at the retailers in trucks and fail to consider how complex the supply chain really is,” he said. “Meanwhile 3 percent of global GNP is moving on one of our vessels on any given day.”

And moving at a slower, more sustainable pace, he added.

Maersk was one of the first carriers to introduce “slow steaming” a few years ago, and it has since become a common practice among all modern fleets. But not without some sacrifice.

“Initially, moving at a reduced knot speed took its toll on some ship engines,” said Sterling. “But Maersk learned how to reengineer around this problem, and we shared this technology with the carrier industry. Now 50 percent of the world’s vessel operators have reduced emissions by reducing velocity.”

What’s more, this has made had a positive impact for the Port of Seattle, said Linda Styrk, its managing director.

“Because we are closer to Asia than any other U.S. port, Seattle has benefitted by attracting new business,” she said. Now billing itself as “The Green Gateway,” Seattle is promoting shorter ocean transit times and lower fuel consumption.

In May of last year, the port released the results of a study revealing that Puget Sound ports offer the lowest carbon footprint for cargo shipped by sea from Asia to major markets in the Midwest and East Coast, said Styrk.

“This is a competitive advantage that we believe will attract higher cargo volumes through our load center,” she added. “And, it’s an environmental advantage because those same shipments require less fuel, and therefore lower greenhouse gas emissions, from point to point.”

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

Companies used to compete on price and service. The future of supply chain, according to Steve Melnyk, is culture. In fact, innovators like Apple, Google, and Unilever are already leading because of their cultures. Your company can too.

As evidenced by the widening gap in the United States trade deficit, which has seen imports far outpacing exports for years on end, the September edition of the “Global Trade Pulse” from global maritime and trade consultancy Hackett Associates paints a similar picture for trade activity in North America, with some overlapping themes apparent in the report’s European data, too.

Kurt Nagle, president and CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities recently voiced his endorsement of this trade legislation

While many auto executives expect more industry recalls in 2015 and 2016, just 8 percent use advanced predictive analytics to help prevent, prepare for, and manage recalls, according to a recent online poll from Deloitte.

Purolator white paper highlights common Canadian shipping mistakes. From failing to appreciate the complexity of the customs clearance process to not realizing that Canada recognizes both French and English as its official languages, U.S. businesses frequently misjudge the complexity of shipping to the Canadian market. This often results in mistakes - mistakes that can come with hefty penalties and border clearance delays, and that can result in lingering negative perceptions among Canadian consumers.

Article Topics

News · BSR · Maersk Line · Port of Seattle · All topics


Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA