DAILY NEWS Oct 24, 2012 9:48 AM - 0 comments

Shippers need to be at heart of maritime climate change: Global Shippers' Forum

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By: Julia Kuzeljevich

JERSEY CITY, N.J.-- The Global Shippers' Forum published the second edition of its Maritime Emissions Briefing Note October 22. It was launched at the Clean Cargo Working Group's Fall Meeting held in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA, by Bruce Carlton, GSF Board member and President and CEO of the National Industrial Transportation League, USA.

GSF's Maritime Briefing Note provides a comprehensive assessment of the various emissions schemes and proposals tabled by governments, the shipping industry and other non-governmental organizations currently under consideration by the International Maritime Organization, and also considers the main industry-based schemes, including GSF's own maritime supply chain decarbonization initiative undertaken in conjunction with Heriot- Watt University, Edinburgh.

"We are really impressed with the Briefing Note. Maersk Line acknowledges the important role that shippers play in this debate, and welcomes closer collaboration to deliver tangible change in the industry,” said Signe Bruun Jensen, Environment Partnership & Policy Manager, Maersk Line.

"The Briefing Note underscores the fact that shippers are increasingly driving environmental improvement, not only through collaboration with partners in the supply chain, but through competition based on carriers' environmental performance. In developing an appropriate global market-based maritime emissions reduction scheme that will be acceptable to shippers, it must target operational efficiency, focusing on efficient management of fuel and fuel costs, and the lowest carbon cost per unit moved,” said Chris Welsh, Secretary General of the GSF.

"We therefore welcome the fuel monitoring approach recently announced by the European Commission, which could provide the basis for accurate data on fuel consumption which could be the basis for an acceptable efficiency-focused approach going forward. It is for these reasons that GSF is calling for shippers to have a greater say in the development of any global market-based initiative to be agreed in IMO and other international bodies such as the EU, not least because shippers will ultimately bear the costs of such schemes,” he said.

"We are delighted to collaborate with the CCWG and have the opportunity of launching our Maritime Briefing Note to some of the world's leading shippers and carriers at the cutting edge of efforts to reduce maritime emissions,” said Carlton.

 “The CCWG is to be applauded for its on-going efforts in championing industry best practices and developing practical industry tools and solutions to improve the environmental performance of the maritime supply chain.”

In related news, the Global Shippers’ Forum has welcomed proposals by New Zealand to withdraw antitrust immunity for international shipping services.

In April 2012, the New Zealand Productivity Commission tabled its final report on International Freight Services Inquiry in the New Zealand Parliament. That report contained a number of recommendations to improve the performance of New Zealand’s international freight systems. Included in those recommendations were recommendations to withdraw antitrust immunity for international shipping services.

On 3 September 2012 the Minister of Commerce asked the New Zealand Parliament Commerce Committee to consider proposals to transition international shipping to a normal competition regime governed by the Commerce Act 1986.

In its submission to the Commerce Committee Chris Welsh, Secretary General of the GSF said:

“It is impossible to treat as credible the continuing demands from the liner shipping operators for the continuation of exemption for price fixing on the ground that they are essential to ensure that international shipping lines continue to provide stable and reliable services to New Zealand’s exporters and importers. Especially as the evidence, as conceded by the International Container Lines Committee (ICLC), is that “historic conference agreements no longer operate in New Zealand””.

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