Maersk Line, one of the world's leading shipping companies and part of Denmark's A.P.Moller-Maersk, an international group with activities in shipping, energy, offshore, retail and industry, has been chosen as the Sustainable Shipping Operator of The Year at an awards ceremony in London on 15 July held by the Petromedia Group, owners of SustainableShipping.com. The news is reported in financial daily newspaper Børsen and in a press release from Maersk Line.
The award was given to Maersk Line in recognition of the company's efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its business operations. Maersk Line has proved that the two-stroke engines on its container vessels can run continuously at low loads ensuring more flexible and energy-efficient operation.
In 2007, the company carried out a study of 110 vessels, which showed that despite the traditional practice of 40-60% as a minimum engine load, it was safe to go as low as 10%, enabling container ships to sail at half speed, thereby significantly reducing fuel costs and CO2 emissions.
Søren Stig Nielsen, head of sustainability at Maersk Line says: "We are dedicated to minimising our environmental footprint and conducting our business in a sustainable fashion. We are very pleased to win the award as Sustainable Shipping Operator. We have challenged the myths in the industry and through research have documented that the savings potential of slow steaming is a lot bigger than previously thought."
More than 100 ships in the Maersk Line fleet have used slow steaming since 2007. For a post-Panamax container ship, slow steaming can save 3,500 tons of fuel, corresponding to USD 1m, and 10,000 tons of CO2 annually.