Impact of rapid decarbonization on the shipping industry

The increasing speed of decarbonization in the maritime transport industry, mainly driven by the trend that promotes clean fuels and the reduction of the carbon footprint, is generating a pronounced impact in the short and medium terms on the different types of cargo transported.

The report on decarbonization in shipping “Carbon Carriers: The Impact of Rapid Decarbonization on the Shipping Industry”, by Maritime Strategies International (MSI) presents these and other conclusions on the increase in the use of alternative fuels and the consequent decrease in crude and coal consumption.

The shipping industry faces many challenges.

The shipping industry faces many challenges.

Reduction and reference

The study was commissioned from MSI by the European Climate Foundation (ECF) to study the consequences for shipping markets because of a major shift in energy consumption away from hydrocarbons to renewable fuels and biofuels.

Market modeling systems allow an analysis of how changes in energy demand will affect interregional trade flows of commodities and the associated change in the required shipping capacity, industrial gains and asset prices in all segments of the energy industry.

The analysis projects two frameworks: reduction and reference, which are designed to deliver a broad narrative and structure to the long-term global energy demand.

Tankers under the magnifying glass

The tanker transport market would be the most affected – by far – with this transition, since the vast majority of its cargo is made up of fossil fuels, with which the demand for this type of vessel would be reduced by approximately 30% during the next 15 years, with an annual decline rate.

Uncertainty of the transition

The transition from one type of fuel to another will mean not only an impact for shipping, but also for ports and investors, both susceptible to financial risks of not properly studying the associated impacts.

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