SAN PEDRO, CA: November 10, 2016. Maersk Line has partnered with the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to measure the environmental benefits of a US$125 million upgrade to 12 containerships.
The two ports are contributing jointly US$1 million to a real-time tracking system to pinpoint vessel emissions while ships birthed and at sea.
Maersk said the three-year data collection and analysis will build on its multi-mullion "radical retrofit" program to reduce fuel consumption and increase the capacity of vessels that regularly call at the San Pedro Bay ports.
The project will record in real time how much fuel each Maersk vessel engine uses in conjunction with speed, engine power, weather and other operational variables.
"This is the equivalent of strapping a Fitbit (activity tracker) on to a large container ship," said Lee Kindberg, Maersk director of Environment and Sustainability. "We'll be tracking vessel performance and emissions 24/7. This advances our ability to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants on a global scale."
The Maersk upgrades include redesigning the bulbous bow of each vessel, replacing existing propellers with more efficient models, and derating the main engines to make them more efficient at lower speeds.
The retrofit program also involves raising a ship's bridge to increase TEU capacity from 9,500 to 11,000 TEUs. This allows Maersk to carry more containers per vessel while decreasing their environmental impact per container moved.
"Maersk Line's extraordinary commitment to cleaner, more efficient vessel operations represents a quantum leap in the environmental progress of our entire industry," said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka. "We applaud Maersk Line for its leadership and innovation, and we are eager to do our part to advance fundamental change that will result in cleaner air for our surrounding communities and around the world."
The energy efficiency makeover is expected to decrease each ship's fuel consumption by more than 10 percent, saving an estimated 10,000 tonnes of fuel annually.
Since 2007, Maersk Line has reduced GHG emissions from its vessel operations by 42 percent per container carried per kilometer in a bid to reach its goal of a 60 percent reduction by 2020.
The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach handle approximately 40 percent of America's total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports.