Decarbonising the maritime supply chain

Tuesday 12 October 2010

The Freight Transport Association is to expand its carbon reduction research work to encompass the reduction of emissions in the maritime supply chain.

Chris Welsh, FTA’s General Manager of Global and European Policy, was speaking at the ‘Managing Carbon Emissions and Greenhouse Gases in Shipping’ conference in London today (12 October) on the subject of managing and reducing emissions in the supply chain from the shipper’s perspective. FTA will be assisting Heriot-Watt University with its research on the subject and will integrate the outcomes into its broader carbon reduction scheme, the Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS). The scheme, which is currently focused on commercial vehicle activity, aims to record, report and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the freight transport sector. The scheme was launched at the beginning of this year and now has over 40 members.

Chris Welsh commented:

“Shipping is generally regarded as an environmentally sound mode of transport, with relatively low energy consumption per unit of freight moved, but with carbon emissions predicted to rise and national targets in place to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50 to 80 per cent by 2050, it is essential that we start work on monitoring and reducing carbon emissions now.”

Existing data solely relates to the emissions of the ship, with no account being taken of emissions from ports, feeder and overland movements. The interaction of shipping and land-based logistics has so far been overlooked, and could be a critical factor in total door-to-door CO2 emissions.

The main objectives of the research are to:

assess the extent to which carbon intensity is affected by logistics decisions;

identify opportunities for shippers to take an active role in decarbonisation initiatives;

establish data requirements of shippers seeking to monitor and manage CO2;

model the potential CO2 savings from six decarbonised initiatives led or approved by shippers.

Notes for editors

Chris Welsh can be contacted at For further information on Heriot-Watt University’s research project, contact Professor Alan McKinnon, Logistics Research Centre, Heriot-Watt University, email, or tel: 0131 451 3850.


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