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H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L


S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : M A R I N E & M A R I T I M E

international standards for harmful emissions



, SO


and PM) and has supported the

establishment by the IMO of Emission Control

Areas (ECA) with even more demanding

standards. The WSC was also an active

participant in the IMO discussions leading to the

establishment of energy efficiency design

standards for new ships that will improve fuel

consumption and reduce carbon emissions.

Because fuel represents the majority of a

container ship’s operating costs, the industry

continues to be very focused on how to

transport goods with the most efficient use of

fuel and energy possible. But as we continue

to make progress on energy efficiency

improvements, it is also important to note that

maritime shipping is already the most energy

efficient way to transport goods, emitting far less



per tonne/km than any other transport

mode. By shifting more cargo transport to sea,

the EU can capitalise on the superior energy

efficiency of shipping and reduce the EU’s total




Another key issue is the IMO’s Ballast Water

Management Convention, which regulates

ballast water treatment technology that helps

prevent the transfer of invasive species from one

part of the world to another to protect local

marine life. Various steps have already been

taken to reduce these risks, including hull

coatings and mid-ocean ballast water exchange.

But, as to the installation of ballast water

treatment technology, the industry faces a

dilemma because global regulators have not yet

agreed on what technology is acceptable. A

vessel engaged in international commerce must

be able to install technology that will be

accepted at whatever port it calls, but we are

not there yet on ballast water treatment.

Hopefully, that will be resolved in the near future.

Safety at sea and ashore has been an issue of

importance to the industry. For example, the


ondon and Brussels are two cities linked not only by the European

Union, the Eurostar and above average rainfall; both are centres

of regulatory decision making that have a decisive influence on

how liner shipping, a business that spans the world, conducts its

operations. Consequently, the World Shipping Council (WSC) dedicates

significant resources to representing the interests of the world’s largest

shipping lines to the regulators, lawmakers and other stakeholders

shaping maritime policy in both cities, based at the International Maritime

Organization (IMO) and the EU institutions.

The WSC’s members operate liner shipping services, mostly high

capacity ocean-going container ships that transport global commerce

along regular routes on fixed schedules. This sector’s economic

contribution can be counted in trillions. These vessels carry about 60%

of the value of the world’s goods moved internationally by sea each year

– about four trillion US dollars (~€3.5tr) worth of goods annually.

Renowned economist Marc Levinson has explained that without the

ability to move containers on liner shipping services, the modern global

economy that connects the world would not exist.

The sector’s contribution to Europe is equally impressive, transporting

about €1.2tr worth of goods annually or roughly two thirds of the EU’s

seaborne trade by value. The liner industry is estimated to directly

contribute €59bn annually to the European economy, employing some

250,000 EU citizens. And that’s without counting the wealth and

employment generated by related supply chain activities, from port

services such as cargo handling and warehousing to logistics and the

onward transportation of goods.

Regulatory factors

Just as the global economy is reliant on shipping, shipping is reliant on

a stable, facilitating and global regulatory framework. Harmonised

international environmental and safety regulations are needed by both

the industry and society. So too are consistent and trade-friendly customs

rules and a root and branch reduction of the administrative burdens that

clog the arteries of trade, as recognised by the recent World Trade

Organization (WTO) Bali Agreement on Trade Facilitation. The IMO in

London and the EU in Brussels have much to do to help accomplish both

targets. The WSC, with consultative status at the IMO and an office in

Brussels, is putting its full weight behind this agenda.

Reducing the impact

The IMO has already achieved much in the area of global rules for

improved vessel air emissions. The liner industry endorsed stricter

Keeping the world connected


Damian Viccars

of the World Shipping Council argues, liner shipping is

integral to the global economy yet faces a number of challenges that London

and Brussels must tackle

Damian Viccars