Environmental friendliness may not be as great a concern as it used to be a few years back, yet the levels of awareness are still encouraging and transparent in a variety of fields and industries, including the shipping industry. To this end, several shipping carriers across the globe have slowed down their cargo ships as part of a whale protection and air pollution reduction program. The initiative is associated with six of the most important names of shipping carriers operating on today’s market, namely COSCO, the United Arab Shipping Company, Hapag Lloyd, Matson, Maersk Line and K Line.
However, it should be noted that the motivations for taking up such initiatives are rather varied. This program, for instance, pays 2,500 dollars to any shipping company that agrees to slow down their cargo ships, thus providing them with quite an incentive. In fact, the initiators of the program have admitted that one of the purposes of their program is to prove that all shipping companies need in order to join such initiatives is the right incentive. Little by little, they are likely to draw in bigger companies with significantly more financial power to support their cause. And indeed, this strategy has proven successful, international companies being drawn in to contribute to both the protection of marine wildlife and the reduction of air pollution.
It should also be noted that this is not an unprecedented situation in the shipping industry. The initiative to slow steaming has led to similar results, shipping carriers being lured into this program by the lower fuel costs as well as the lower emission levels on a constant basis. In other words, they are presented with significant advantages on both a financial level and an environmental one.
The image that builds around the participation into such an environmental protection program also plays an important role with shipping carriers, thus coming across as another noteworthy incentive.
All these incentives – the financial factor, the environmental factor, the image associated with environmental protection programs – have led to a significant increase in the popularity of such initiatives. Consequently, initiators of such programs often find themselves in need of additional funding to support their cause. In the end, it is perfectly understandable that the financial incentive be the most striking as well as the most effective one given that many shipping carriers find themselves facing losses in the billions of dollars. Therefore, it only makes sense for them to seek various solutions to cover those losses. The question is just how popular would environmental protection programs be among shipping carriers if there was no financial incentive. Just how willing would shipping carriers be to slow down their cargo ships if they did not receive any money in exchange for doing so? However, it should be noted that such initiatives are not mainly about the financial benefits, but about the environment and finding as many effective ways to protect it as possible.
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