The Eugen Maersk and the Future of Clean Shipping


Unless you’re a particularly dedicated shipping enthusiast, it’s safe to say that you have probably not come across the name “Eugen Maersk” before. However, it’s time that you commit it to memory, as she may well be the future of clean shipping.

At full capacity, she weighs in at well over 150,000 tonnes (a weight equivalent to almost a thousand adult blue whales). This bulk is matched by her size – she stretches for more than four football pitches in length, coming in at 397 metres.

She takes more than four miles to come to a complete stop from full speed, and burns through significantly more than two hundred tonnes of bunker fuel in one single day. This fuel gives off a large amount of pollution; the total sum of all global shipping activity is responsible for more than three per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions.

This isn’t such a bad thing – after all, shipping is by far the greenest method of transporting goods from one side of the globe to another. However, because shipping is used for roughly 90% of global trade, it still adds up. Thankfully, the industry is looking for solutions to this problem.

Possible Solution– Lower Sulphur Fuel

The above stats about the Eugen Maersk are somewhat outdated now; these days, she’s using a low sulphur fuel, meaning she’s putting out a lot less in terms of pollutants.

In fact, Maersk – the Danish business conglomerates – say that she has been giving off sulphur dioxide emissions at a rate reduced by 85%. This is of course of great benefit in all respects.

Green Ships

So-called “green ships” are being looked upon as a solution for an industry that is suffering; oil prices are currently at a high, and there’s an excess of capacity in terms of shipping. Instead of upping prices and increasing income, it is believed that cutting costs is the best way to increase those all-important profit margins.

A good way to do this is by using said green ships (or “eco-ships”) – fuel is notoriously expensive, so by aiming for greater fuel efficiency, a company can stand to save a lot of money.

Companies such as logistics specialists and marine suppliers alike (you can find out more about the latter by clicking here) stand to benefit from advances in eco-ship technology. “Bigger is better” has become the phrase of the moment once more; bigger vessels will use less fuel overall, especially when traveling at economical speeds.

Overlapping Interests

As you can see, green ships fulfill the needs of both the shipping companies and the environment – lower fuel consumption is lighter on the wallet as well as the atmosphere. Decreasing the current dependency on fossils fuels can only be a good thing for both parties.

Some current features which can help increase fuel efficiency include everything from a more streamlined ship body to specialized hull paint, designed to reduce drag.

Article by Staff Writer at ShipServ

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

1 Comment

  1. The Green Ship Incentive Program is a voluntary clean-air initiative targeting the reduction of smog-causing nitrogen oxides (NOx). It rewards qualifying vessel operators for deploying today’s greenest ships to the Port of Long Beach and accelerating the use of tomorrow’s greenest ships.