What is the future of shipping?
The shipping world is fast becoming a more complex place
Article by Tom Boardley, Marine Director, Lloyd’s Register about the shipping world fast becoming a more complex place.
By Tom Boardley, Marine Director, Lloyd’s Register
Emissions regulation and higher energy prices are the two leading factors changing our industry. New technologies and innovation will play a vital role in the immediate and long term future of shipping.
100 years ago a Lloyd’s Register surveyor attended the sea trials of the first seagoing diesel powered merchant ship, the East Asiatic Company’s innovative Selandia. The propulsion technology on trial a century ago now dominates the industry and, for most merchant ships, in the last 50 years, there has been a clear orthodoxy in engine room arrangements and the type of fuel used. Nearly all ships now use marine heavy fuel oil in diesel engines.
Today we stand on the brink of a new era.
Lloyd’s Register has talked about this as a ‘new paradigm’. Any evolution will be gradual but already we can see changes happening.
New fuels, new engines and new designs are becoming available. The difficulty for shipowners, builders, equipment makers and, don’t forget, financiers is not only what technology to support but when to invest. The future is further clouded by the weak market outlook and the hangover of the biggest boom in new ordering in history – the new ships still being built are, in the main, little different to the ships in demand a decade or more ago.
Most new technology being brought into operation now has been developed for relatively small or niche markets such as ferries and inland waterways – sectors where exposure to new regulation is most concentrated and where local emissions and other factors are felt most keenly.
More clarity needs to be brought to the differences between local air emission benefits and the greenhouse gas impacts of shipping. At present the real driver is local air emissions. The introduction of the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) is the first global greenhouse gas regulation in any industry, setting mandated minimum requirements.
In this brief supplement we use three key and inter-related technical themes - future fuels, engines and designs - to explore the current status of new developments. New fuels, engines and designs are all related – to greater and lesser degrees.
At Lloyd’s Register what we constantly strive to provide is impartial technical guidance. And as well as guidance, verification is crucial. Many claims are being made about performance, about greenhouse gas emissions and about safety of new arrangements. Owners and operators need data and they need it verified – what you can’t measure, you can’t manage.
We are here to help the industry manage the changes we face by providing the independent insight that is required.
Driving marine technology and innovation
By Tim Kent, Lloyd’s Register’s Marine Technology Director
Available technology never stands still.
Applying available technology to help affordably meet regulatory requirements and increase performance, while also increasing safety, is a challenge.
Meeting such societal obligations through enabling the safe, sustainable and affordable application of technology in a structured manner is at the core of the classification society’s role.
“What is actually possible?”, is a key question that clients expect us to help them answer. What we’ve learned to do is provide the vital service to clients and their stakeholders in understanding the regulatory and technical issues, to help guide a process of bespoke engineering analysis to explore and realise client requirements, properly appraising designs and supporting construction and operations.
The guidance and verification needed to help the industry is being provided by Lloyd’s Register’s 1,800 ship and design support surveyors worldwide.