Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Logistics and the Environment

Today I am attending the 6th Annual Trans-Pacific Maritime Conference in Long Beach. I expected to hear about supply chain security, trends in the logistics industry and globalization - which I did. What I didn't expect to hear about was the environment and the effects of the logistics industry on it. The keynote speaker Kuo-Cheng Chang, chairman, Evergreen Marine Corp. enlightened me.

Apparently all of the shipping, 75% of global trade is shipped via ocean, is causing havoc on oceanic life. This may sound obvious, but it's just not something that is top of mind when most people think about logistics. According to Evergreen it would cost $70 billion to retrofit all of the current active ships to be environmental friendly and legislation to do so takes effect in 2010. Since that isn't really an option for an industry with low margins, Evergreen recommends that as shippers upgrade their fleets they consider:

1. Ships with new fuel tanks with duel electric motors that shut down during docking
2. Fuel tanks with double skins to prevent oil seepage
3. Ship coatings that are tin free
4. Low sulfur exhaust
5. Sewage separators

Stay tuned for more updates from the conference.

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