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Is the Shipping Industry Sailing on Choppy Dirty Waters?

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Carbon Emissions by the Shipping Industry

The shipping industry, like many other industries, seems to be at crossroads with emission targets. Like road and air transport, the shipping industry is also responsible for the deteriorating quality of air. Did you know the largest ship involves the burning of more than 66 gallons of fuel per minute? Cargo ships run on dirty fuel and emit noxious chemicals in the air.

large container ships

Image Credit: Pixabay

Like other major industries, the shipping industry too, is facing heat from the government, employees, and customers to reduce its growing emission levels. There is a rising demand for global shipping owing to improving trade but that leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions. The shipping industry is responsible for ~3% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is one of the largest contributors to climate change. In order to cut emissions, new energy technologies such as biofuels and powertrains running on hydrogen, methanol, or ammonia will need to be adapted by the shipping industry. Shipping is a crucial element of global trading. It is estimated that close to 90% of the cargo in the world travels via container ships. Hence cleaning this industry will have a ripple effect on all other large businesses around the world, as well.

Using Cleaner Shipping Fuel Options

It is high time that industries and large businesses take account of their carbon footprint in the wake of rising climate change concerns. Else, there will be no home left for our future generations. Maersk, one of the largest shipping companies globally aims to cut its emissions per container by 50% by 2030. Shipping companies are also looking at other strategies like fuel conservation, lowering fuel cost per container, running their fleets on cleaner fuels/ biofuels/ green methanol/ hydrogen, etc. However, the main challenge in its path to decarbonizing is that most of these technologies are in their nascent stage and are also expensive to use. If the shipping industry is successful in reducing its overall emission levels, it will be a huge plus for the overall environment, and other industries like trucking and aviation could soon follow suit. With most transportation turning to near-zero-emission levels, the world will surely move towards a cleaner future ahead.

Also, read how to decarbonize/ create energy-efficient:






Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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