Cargill, Huntsman, UNIPEC UK opt for energy-efficient ships

Cargill, Huntsman, UNIPEC UK opt for energy-efficient ships

Agricultural giant Cargill has joined with two more of the world's largest ship charterers by pledging to stop using inefficient vessels in a bid to reduce their carbon emissions and operating costs.

Cargill announced the plan yesterday alongside chemicals company Huntsman and oil trader UNIPEC UK, which together charter ships for transporting over 350 million tons of commodities each year, accounting for around 8 percent of the world's cargo.

The three companies said they will only use the greenest vessels as ranked by vetting service RightShip and published on ShippingEfficiency.org, a website establishedby Richard Branson's Carbon War Room NGO.

The index awards over 60,000 vessels a rating compared to other ships in their class ranging from A, being the most efficient, down to G. Cargill is excluding ships with an F or G rating, which make up between 10 and 15 percent of the global merchantfleet, according to the Financial Times.

Jonathan Stoneley, environment and compliance manager at Cargill Ocean Transportation, which spends around $2 billion a year on fuel, said the move made "a strong statement to the market" that the company is only interested in using the most efficient vessels.

"We hope this action will demonstrate to ship owners that they can and should do more in terms of efficiency, and that the market will reward them and will also show other charterers the decision support tools available if they want to operate more efficiently," he said.

"We will work together with customers, as best appropriate, to help them meet their environmental objectives linked to transportation and this rating system."

Peter Boyd, chief operating officer at Carbon War Room, encouraged other charterers and shippers to make similar commitments to Cargill, Huntsman and UNIPEC UK.

"This deal represents the first major capital shift on behalf of the charterers towards making greater efficiency a factor in their vessel chartering decisions," he said.

"Those that lead the curve on presenting more eco-efficient vessels will benefit from the choices charterers are making and the charterers themselves will see lowered operating costs through fuel efficiency -- a win-win-win decision for the owner, the charterer and the environment."

Image of a cargo ship provided by Nightman1965 via Shutterstock.

This piece originally appeared on Business Green and is reprinted here with permission.