Claims of declining ship efficiency are ‘fanciful’, says ICS

London: A study that claimed that modern ships are less efficient than 20-year-old vessels has been dismissed as ‘fanciful’ by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

The study assessed design efficiency of new ships built over the last 50 years and was conducted by the NGO Seas At Risk with consultancy CE Delft on behalf of the European Federation for Transport & Environment (T&E).

“T&E bases its claims on a report it has commissioned from the respected consultancy CE Delft, but it has used the findings very selectively,” the ICS said in a statement today.

“The T&E statement appears to confuse overall design efficiency with an approximate ‘estimate of fuel efficiency’ based on generic data. Modern ships are designed for optimal efficiency which requires far less fuel to be consumed than previously,” the Chamber continued.

Fuel efficiency regulations are working, the ICS said. International shipping has reduced its total CO2 emissions by more than 10% between 2007 and 2012 while demand for maritime transport continued to increase, as shown in the 2014 IMO Green House Gas Study.

The range of data used in the report finishes before the Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI) was implemented worldwide in 2013, the ICS observes, which has skewed the study’s results.

Modern ships built to EEDI targets are required to be designed to be at least 10% more efficient than the agreed IMO reference line, while ships built after 2030 will be 30% more efficient.

“Combined with continuously improving operational fuel efficiency measures, supported by the mandatory use of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans and new technology, the actual CO2 reductions achieved will be even greater,” the ICS said.

“This is something on which the shipping industry and its regulator, IMO, should be congratulated rather than criticised.”


Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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