There has been a lot of talk about the relationship between what we are learning and experiencing from the coronavirus and the dire warnings of potential effects of climate change. Many suggest that the origination and spread of the virus was partly due to global warming and warn that further ignorance of climate change warnings will only perpetuate the birth of more deadly diseases.
An article in Tradewinds discusses the global shipping industry and puts large scale container shipping companies under scrutiny to reduce emissions and global carbon footprints. Mr. Victor Restis, president of Enterprise & Trading S.A, which is one of Greece’s largest container shipping companies, said that the shipping industry is under an aggressive goal to reduce its carbon levels to half of what it was prior to COVID-19. Mr. Restis goes on to explain that the shipping industry was working toward these goals prior to the pandemic and is implementing new technologies to help reduce carbon emissions.
Interestingly, Mr. Restis points out that technology isn’t the only factor that can help reduce carbon levels. He explains that slow steaming – a practice of operating transoceanic cargo ships at a significantly less than maximum speed – is another solution that has been proposed. This would require companies to accept the impact on bottom line profits that would result in taking more time for a container ship to travel from point A to point B. The faster a ship can travel to those points and deliver its cargo, the faster it can reload and make another delivery run. Mr. Restis states that the concept of slow steaming can help reduce carbon levels but will require an oversight to ensure fair implementation by all parties involved. There are digital technologies and artificial intelligence that can be considered as well. If my phone can alert me to a discount taking place at my favorite eating spot in real-time, I am certain there are new ways technology can protect our global supply chain and the human resources that power them. Innovation will definitely play a very large role in the transformation of the shipping industry, and I imagine all others.
So perhaps amidst the death and destruction that COVID-19 has place on the world, we can at least learn and implement new ways to ensure future virus’s like this, or effects of climate change, can be greatly mitigated for the safety and security of all human life.