Shipping companies becoming more environmentally friendly: HSH Nordbank survey

13 November 2013 (Last Updated November 13th, 2013 18:30)

Domestic and international shipping companies are becoming more environment-friendly and are constructing new modern eco-ships, while retrofitting existing ships to make them more efficient, according to a market survey by HSH Nordbank.

Domestic and international shipping companies are becoming more environmentally friendly, in part by constructing new modern eco-ships and retrofitting existing ships to make them more efficient, according to a market survey by HSH Nordbank.

This move by shipping companies is aimed at meeting the growing challenges facing global shipping with regard to efficiency and environmental regulations.

The survey titled ‘Eco-shipping’ provides a picture of sentiment in the sector on the basis of a customer survey.

The survey, which asked 60 shipping firms about their preparations for new and strict emission regulations and measures taken to improve efficiency, found that around 90% of firms were in favour of implementing dependable international emission regulations.

Around 42% of the firms were already retrofitting their fleets to increase efficiency, while 36% companies were bunkering their ships with an expensive fuel, which has a lower emission level compared to conventional heavy fuel oil.

HSH Nordbank shipping international clients global head Ingmar Loges said the decrease in charter rates, increasing bunker prices and stricter IMO regulations force shipping companies to minimise their operating costs while simultaneously ensuring that their ships operate in an environment-friendly manner.

"Three quarters of the shipping companies that took part in the survey are already investing in measures to improve efficiency with a view to meeting the much higher fuel costs and more stringent environmental requirements," Loges added.

The survey also found that around 62% of the shipping firms had already ordered new ships or are planning to order new ships in 2014, where 94% would fit their new ships with efficiency-enhancing features.

HSH Nordbank shipping domestic clients global head Christian Nieswandt said 29% of the shipping companies involved in their survey stated that they were converting more than half of their fleet.

"Generally speaking, spending on retrofitting makes much more economic sense for larger and more modern ships than for smaller, older ones," Nieswandt added.

Of the total shipping firms surveyed, 44% were from Germany, 40% from rest of Europe, 11% from North America and 4% from Asia.