The proposed shipping emission laws to be revealed by the European Union could affect Humber ports, according to a new report by transport analyst PRB Associates.
The new rules, which are set to be released in 2015, will force vessels to cut their maximum sulphur content by 0.1%.
These changes could prevent Humber ports from competing with the channel and could drive up costs, reported Hull Daily Mail.
Additionally, the new rules will have more impact on ferries docking in the Humber ports than the southern-bound freighters.
PRB Associates managing director and report author Peter Baker was quoted by the website as saying that the impact is greater on ferries coming into the Humber ports than those coming into the channel.
"The ferry companies have been working hard over the years to counter this, but there’s going to be a higher cost," Baker said.
"The channel ferries can pass that cost on to customers with a much lower incremental increase in rates."
To comply with the new rules, companies are planning to either equip ships with machines to scrub the sulphur or to use low-content fuel, both of which are expensive and will affect ships coming to the Humber.
The new emission law will force companies to land cargo in the south and then continue up the country by road.
Baker said it is cheaper to take trade by road than by sea over longer European routes.
"Sea routes are not developing because of the relatively low costs of freight rates on the Channel Tunnel, and the regularity of service," Baker added.