"Greening" shortsea shipping in California

Encouraging shortsea shipping in California is being promoted by the state’s Maritime Administration in an attempt to remove trucks from the overcrowded highways. But green pressure group, Greenpeace, is saying that more needs to be done. In a Greenpeace report published recently, the group recognised that shortsea shipping is more fuel-efficient than road on a tonne-kilometre basis but does not believe this necessarily results in reduced emissions due to the high sulphur content of marine bunkers.

However, the report is in favour of shortsea shipping as an alternative to road and would lend its support to the Maritime Administration’s programme if more actions were included. For example, vessels should adopt slow steaming, engage in regular hull-cleaning and adopt cleaner, hybrid fuels. These measures would, the report states, lower harmful emissions and reduce underwater noise levels which can have a detrimental effect on marine life.