29th June 2011
NO LIKELY U-TURN ON 2015 REGULATION FOR SHORTSEA SHIPPING SAYS OW BUNKER
Industry will benefit in the long-term if it takes early pain of regulation
OW Bunker told the shortsea shipping industry that it needs to forget overturning or delaying impending sulphur regulations in 2015, and focus on implementing plans that will meet the new demands.
Speaking at the 4th European Shortsea Shipping Congress in Hamburg, Søren Christian Meyer, Global Sales Director, OW Bunker, also said that while the pain of regulation will undoubtedly impact the shortsea market, it will create a more successful and sustainable industry in the long run.
“For the shortsea shipping market there are clearly understandable and substantiated concerns with the 2015 ECA sulphur regulation. But I believe we are too far down the road for a u-turn. Ultimately, there are too many influential stakeholders including the European Commission that believe a line must be drawn and progression – however hard – must start somewhere.
Indeed they believe that it is the shipping industry’s responsibility to look toinnovation and clean fuels as a means of adapting to the change. Any deviation from this will be seen by external forces outside of the industry as an unacceptable unwillingness on shipping’s part to change.”
“Regulation is inevitable and must be dealt with. No one questions that shipping is the most environmentally efficient form of transport, but that does not negate us as an industry being asked to continually look for further improvements in environmental performance. This is the new world order that we are now operating in. And while within short sea shipping we will lose some freight to the roads, those that accept the change and adapt accordingly will be well positioned to reap the opportunities and benefits that change always brings.”
Meyer also reiterated the importance of planning ahead of regulation and industry partnership to ensure that businesses are ‘fit for purpose’ come 2015:
“Planning and preparation is the best form of attack. Understanding the impact of regulation and working with partners to develop strategies that best meet the challenges that lay ahead. Specifically bunkering companies that understand in detail the technical and supply demands, and can put in place effective fuel procurement strategies that increase ship owners’ and operators’ efficiencies and maximise their profitability. Clearly the way forward is for the industry to work closely together and join forces in combating the tough road ahead.”