INTERNATIONAL shipping decarbonisation advocacy group Global Maritime Forum has identified five key areas of cation to improve the operational efficiency of vessels.

The organisation said implementing operational efficiency strategies plays an important role in reducing emissions.

The five actions areas include: data collection and transparency; contractual changes; pilot projects; ports, terminals, and value chains; and culture and leadership.

Participating companies and supporting organisations have signed an ambition statement agreeing to take collective action in these five areas, assess their maturity and progress and take leadership roles in bringing operational efficiency to the forefront of the shipping agenda.

A series of insight briefs published by the Global Maritime Forum highlighted that operational efficiencies can decrease annual fuel consumption by 20% and reduce annual emissions by more than 200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

A GMF statement said voyages are inherently complex, involving multiple parties from commodity owners to shipowners and charterers co-ordinating with ports and terminals, all guided by contracts and informed by data. Depending on the shipping environment, operators are often incentivised to sail fast then wait, causing inefficiencies.

Vessel operations and speed are inextricably linked to fuel consumption, emissions, and charterparty contracts, all of which can be reduced materially through actions within the five identified action areas.

Optimising shipping operations provides an opportunity to act now, using existing technologies and not requiring high capital investments or complex regulatory compliance. Rather, optimisation requires bold leadership, changing mindsets, and a willingness to embrace existing solutions that will minimise the environmental impact of operations—all in a commercially viable way.

GMF project director for decarbonisation Jesse Fahnestock said capitalising fully on operational efficiency will be a prerequisite to achieving the 2030, 2040, and 2050 emissions reduction targets that were recently introduced as part of the International Maritime Organization’s revised greenhouse gas emissions strategy.

“Operational efficiency measures should and can be taken now, without waiting for new technological advancements like the procurement of zero-emission fuels and newbuild vessels,” Mr Fahnestock said.

The signatories of the operational efficiency ambition statement are: Amaggi, Blue Visby, Bunge, Cargill, Chevron Shipping, COFCO International, Copenhagen Commercial Platform (CCP), Euronav, Genco Shipping, Lloyd’s Register, Louis Dreyfus Company, Maersk Tankers, NAPA, NYK Group, OCIMF, Oldendorff Carriers, Port of Açu, Port of Rotterdam, PSA International Pte Ltd, Rubis Energie, Siglar Carbon, Signol, Stena Bulk, Stephenson Harwood, Torvald Klaveness, UKHO, Viterra, Watson Farley & Williams LLP (WFW), Wisdom Marine Group, and Zero North.

“Chevron Shipping is proud to support the Global Maritime Forum’s ambition statement on operational efficiency. Chevron and the Global Maritime Forum are aligned on increasing efficiencies, decreasing fuel consumption, and lowering the carbon intensity of operations. We look forward to collaborating with our partners and engaging with stakeholders across the maritime value chain to help reach our common goals,’’ said Mark Ross, President, Chevron Shipping.

“The decarbonisation pathway starts today – not in 2030 or even in 2050. This is the reason Euronav joined the Global Maritime Forum’s operational efficiency work in the first place, and why signing and acting on the ambition statement was a no-brainer. The initiative enables cross-industry peers to pool actionable knowledge and to share actual real-life experiences – resulting in an impact on both the environment and the bottom line of the company,” said Lieve Logghe, Interim CEO, Euronav.

“In an industry built around vessels that remain in service for decades, only through operational efficiencies, reducing fuel usage, costs, and carbon emissions will we be able to afford future green fuels and achieve our decarbonisation targets’’ said Eman Abdalla, Global Operations and Supply Chain Director, Cargill Ocean Transportation. “There is no decarbonisation without collaboration, and Cargill is proud to support this initiative. It is the right catalyst to bring the necessary collective and transformational change.”