Shipping emissions in ports

The opening of the expanded Suez canal is undoubtedly the most important topic of this week’s logistics news. At the same time several other ports are set for redevelopment and expansion, for instance Brazil’s Port of Açu, used primarily for crude oil and gas transportation. The costs of expansion are currently estimated at $814m (Port Finance International). Those projects certainly aimed at updating ports’ infrastructure and increasing handling capacity. The environmental concerns may not be a primary motivation, but are likely to be taken into account, particularly with private developers and long terms loan facilities involved. Carbon monoxide and mono-nitrogen oxide emissions are generally associated with road and air transport, but are rarely spoken about when it comes to sea carriage.

Journal of Commerce reporting results from International Transport Forum (ITF) on the topic of shipping emissions in ports states that carbon dioxide is expected rise by 70 million tonnes and mono-nitrogen oxide by 1.3 million tonnes. Essentially it means that emissions can quadruple by the end of 2050.

The pattern of emissions distribution is highly biased with a third of harmful emissions occurring in only 50 ports. Port Technology suggests that it is the rapid growth of cargo volumes and lack of local regulations in the African and Asian ports explain the disproportionate growth of pollution levels. That is why fundamental redevelopment of port facilities will allow to incorporate latest technologies of emissions reductions into daily port operations.