As the world becomes more interconnected, the shipping industry has grown rapidly, and today, maritime transport is responsible for around 80% of global trade. Although shipping is an essential component of the global economy, it is also a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), global shipping was responsible for around 2.89% of the world’s total CO2 emissions in 2018. While this may seem like a small figure, the shipping industry’s carbon emissions are projected to increase by up to 250% by 2050 if no significant actions are taken.
The good news is that in recent years, there has been a growing focus on advancing sustainable shipping practices in international cargo services. Many organizations and companies recognize the importance of reducing their environmental impact, and this has led to several initiatives aimed at achieving this goal.
One of the most notable efforts is the IMO’s plan to reduce the shipping industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, the IMO announced its strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. To achieve this ambitious goal, the IMO has launched several initiatives, including the adoption of mandatory energy efficiency measures and the development of new technologies and alternative fuels.
Several shipping companies have also committed to reducing their carbon footprints. For instance, the Danish shipping firm Maersk has set a target of becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2050. To achieve this goal, the company has launched several initiatives, including the use of biofuels and the installation of onboard wind turbines to generate electricity.
Another notable effort is the development of Sustainable Transport Fuels Certification schemes. These schemes, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), provide a sustainability certification program for all forms of biofuels, including those used in the shipping industry. The certification ensures that biofuels are produced in a sustainable manner, and the process does not harm the environment or people.
Apart from these initiatives, innovative technologies such as blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) are being used to enhance sustainability in the shipping industry. Blockchain technology has been used to track the movement of goods and identify the environmental impact of shipping operations. IoT, on the other hand, enables ships to optimize their routes to minimize fuel consumption and, in turn, reduce emissions.
In conclusion, the global shipping industry plays a crucial role in the world’s economy, but it also has a significant environmental impact. To mitigate this impact, several initiatives are being undertaken to advance sustainable shipping practices in international cargo services. These initiatives include the adoption of energy efficiency measures, the use of sustainable transport fuels, and the use of innovative technologies, among others. With continued efforts, the shipping industry can become more sustainable and contribute to a healthier planet.