Peter Aylott, policy director at the UK Chamber of Shipping, says infrastructure is the real problem. “I’m relaxed, we will conquer the technology to fight pollution by 2050 and the cost is only a penny of freight over the life of a ship,” he says. “And shipyards have the capacity to meet demand. “
Instead, he thinks ports need to become more efficient at loading and unloading, because that’s where the bottlenecks are. There is a limit on the number of ports that can be expanded to handle larger volumes.
Aylott is also concerned about the cost and practicality of setting up facilities to provide ships with new environmentally friendly fuel. “You can see it in the big ports, but what about a small one in Africa? It’s hard to imagine, ”he says.
Most agree that the short term option to reduce pollution and costs is “slow steaming”. Sailing slower uses much less fuel, reduces emissions, but does not satisfy consumers who are used to getting goods quickly.
Stott believes this is a burden we may have to bear until the new green and possibly expensive technology is introduced.
“People want goods fast and the problem is shipping is too cheap,” he says. “Sending a pair of sneakers from Asia to the West costs a dime and we pay them $ 100. Would anyone notice if he had to pay 10 cents for this shipment? “