How optimising shipping routes will improve efficiency and emissions control

A strategic approach to ship fleet planning will be crucial for competitiveness and compliance with new EU regulations, says Lloyd’s Register report.

In brief: 
  • Lloyd’s Register research has said deploying fuel-efficient vessels on certain routes is key to complying with EU Fuel and ETS regulations.
  • More informed choices on zero-carbon fuels and technology will help provide a competitive edge in emissions accounting, under new regulations.
  • Shipowners must prepare to purchase EUAs strategically, to avoid inflated prices and value loss.
In detail:

Effective deployment of shipping fleets plays a critical role in maximising efficiency on specific routes, according to a recent research by Lloyd’s Register. 

Titled 'Shipping and Fit for 55', the research revealed that firms can reap a wide range of benefits by allocating specific ship types to key routes and exercising greater control over fleet movements. 

Lloyd’s Register programme director – energy transition, David Lloyd, said the report provides members of the maritime value chain with “a comprehensive guide” to help them make more educated fuel and technology choices. 

It would also help manage compliance with new EU regulations.

In the report, Lloyd’s emphasised that shipowners can ensure compliance with the Fuel EU and EU ETS regulations by deploying their most efficient vessels on specific routes they need to decarbonise. 

Lloyd said, the report is intended to help operators and owners to “identify the scope for optimising compliance by exploring the operational decisions they can take and how they are impacted by the regulations". 

This, combined with an informed fuel and technology strategy, would not only minimise exposure to carbon pricing but also contribute to the European Economic Area's (EEA) emission reduction targets.

However, efficiency will vary across different shipping segments due to deployment nature, trade considerations and other commercial factors. 

Further, the study considered the potential impact on chartering markets in Europe as demand for more efficient vessels increases.

Understanding emissions accounting for different fuels was highlighted as a key aspect in the research. Early adoption of zero or near-zero carbon fuels and wind-assisted propulsion would provide a significant advantage in emissions accounting when compared to traditional fuel usage, under the Fuel EU and EU ETS regulations.

Also, the report introduced the option for  shipowners and operators to purchase EU Allowances (EUA) or carbon certificates. 

While the EU ETS requires the buying and selling of emissions allowances, shipowners will need to carefully time their purchases to avoid inflated prices. Finally, the report warned of the risk of premature purchases and the potential for value loss.

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