For anyone who works in the logistics industry, from fleet managers and freight forwarders, to hauliers and those who make a living doing courier jobs, the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) 2020 sulphur cap is set to have ramifications on costs and feasibility.
Even if you don’t travel outside the UK for your courier jobs, there’s little doubt you’ll be affected indirectly, so it’s important to understand what it’s all about.
In 2015, the European Union and International Maritime Organisation issued a directive requiring ferry companies to lower the sulphur percentage in fuel from 1%, to 0.1%, with a view to decreasing their carbon footprint and, ultimately, helping to improve air quality in Europe. (The directive affected areas including the English Channel, North Sea and Baltic Sea regions.)
Because ferries had to make significant changes to their fuel systems in order to comply with these new regulations, the ferry companies were left with little choice but to pass the additional costs onto their customers.
This scenario is about to be repeated with the IMO 2020 sulphur cap, which is set to come into effect in January 2020. The global environmental regulation is designed to significantly reduce the sulphur content of fuel used by ships to no more than 0.5%.
As with the previous EU directive in 2015, ferry and ship operators have several alternatives to reach compliance, all of which are costly and the results are not entirely clear. What is clear, however, is that, once again, the costs will necessarily have to be passed on through the supply chain. The options are:
Investing in new engines or ships with dedicated technology.
Switching to a more expensive reduced sulphur fuel.
“Scrubbers” can be fitted to clean the output gasses: these are similar to a catalytic converter in a car. This system cleans the gasses generated by the engines, which enables the ships to continue burning lower grade fuel with far lower sulphur output levels. The scrubbers are retro fitted, but are extremely expensive (a cost of around €5 million per ship) and are not compatible with all vessels.
The final option is to burn cleaner fuel – Marine Gas Oil (MGO) instead of heavy fuel oil (equivalent of super unleaded for cars), which is much more expensive.
For anyone undertaking courier jobs, whether in the UK or beyond, this environmental regulation will have long term and far-reaching effects as shipping companies adjust their business strategies. For freight forwarders, the costs that are passed on for the transportation of goods will be reflected in their own operational practices, which will affect how they buy and manage their road capacity.
Stay ‘in-the-loop’ with the latest news, products and services from Courier Exchange.
Well, it appears I may have to eat a small serving of my words this week. Why am I embarrassed, you might ask? Well, if you were paying attention you'll know that last week I published a post about how I was glad owner driver jobs were becoming more popular in order to offer some healthy competition to Royal Mail. I was saying I think it's a lesson for the Post Office not to get smug and to actually update their prices.Read the full article
Well, to say the last month has been a rollercoaster ride is an understatement! The weather can't seem to make up its mind about what season it is. Eating outside in the garden is just as likely to end in everyone getting drenched as being the lovely experience it should be at this time of the year.Read the full article
In a recent survey, Transport Focus asked delivery drivers what Highways England could do to make their courier work more efficient and profitable. Let’s take a look at what they said.Read the full article
If you do courier work, you need insurance. Fact. Now stay with me folks, because while the subject may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, CX is very proud to announce a new partnership that’s set to benefit our members. And yes, it’s about insurance.Read the full article
Talk to us! On the phone, online or in person… we’re here to help.
CX Fleet 3.0 is out now - a powerful app for remote fleet management.
Tap into peak efficiency today!Watch CX fleet in action