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Shippers Worldwide Pull Back the Throttle, Cut Fuel and Emissions

Shipping companies around the world are going slower and slower, reaping the benefits of using less fuel and emitting less carbon.

More than 220 container ships and other vessels using speeds slower than the norm when out in open water, according to an International Herald Tribune report.

Drewry Shipping Consultants' director of liner travel, Philip Damas, said that ships from Germany, Israel, China and elsewhere are using "slow steaming," which is traveling at 20 knots over open water, or "super slow steaming," which is traveling at 12 knots, half of the standard speeds of 24-25 knots.

One company practicing super slow steaming is Danish shipper Maersk, whose Ebba Maersk ship took more than a month - a week longer than normal - to travel from Germany to Guangdong, China.

Maersk estimates that it has cut fuel use on its major routes and its ships' greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by halving its cruising speeds in the last two years.

Ship - / CC BY 2.0

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