The new year is right around the corner, and the new decade will usher in a regulation that will have a rippling effect on the ocean transportation industry. We've heard a lot of talk about IMO 2020, most notably over the past several months as ocean carriers and shippers alike prepare to comply with this new mandate.
The intent of IMO 2020 is "to provide environmental and health benefits for ports and nearby coastal areas by progressively decreasing emissions produced by heavy bunker fuels, referred to by the IMO as “Sulphur Oxides (SOx) and particulate matter."
As sustainability continues to become a very pertinent and critical issue for the world at large, IMO 2020 is a major "green" initiative for the ocean transportation industry.
Carriers are responding in a variety of ways, with some opting to install retrofit scrubbers that will allow for the use of cheaper fuel, while others are opting to utilize the pricier compliant fuel, without scrubber installation.
What remains to be seen is how carriers will account for these costs with additional surcharges.
With any change comes uncertainty, growing pains, and of course in this particular instance, many questions specifically related to cost and capacity.
Tune in to our latest episode of Talking Trade where I interview Gene Welsh, Director of Ocean Freight - North America about all things IMO 2020.