Monday, April 16, 2012

8 Most Expansive Investments by Shipping Industry in Last Five Years

Shipping industry has seen a number of changes in the past few years. With maritime piracy at its all time high, green revolution spreading like wild fire, and new regulations waiting to be implemented, the maritime industry is transforming like never before.


However, go a layer beneath you will find that though a few of these changes have been well planed, most of them are need of the situation. Of these, measures to fight maritime piracy, methods to prevent marine pollution, and steps to reduce carbon footprints are few of the many areas where maximum investments are being seen.
We bring you eight areas of the shipping industry which have seen heavy investments in the last decade.

1.   Anti Piracy Equipment: Piracy at sea, one of the oldest crimes, was not something to fear of until the pirates of Somalia changed the entire scenario with modern speed boats, arms and ammunition, and support of some international terrorist organisations.  Now costing $7 billion to the industry, maritime piracy is the greatest threat to the shipping sector. To tackle this situation, shipping industry must have invested billions of dollars in anti piracy equipment, training, and ships in the last few years.
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2.   Private Navy/ Armed Guard Escort: When investment in anti-piracy equipment didn’t bore results, millions of dollars were invested to keep armed guards on board ships.  Of course, anti-piracy equipment, which were not life threatening seemed too small in front of live weapons and ammunitions such as AK 47 rifles, rocket launchers, and grenades.  Ship owners had to ensure their crew’s safety to get their business going, and thus came in the requirement of armed guards and navy escorts. According to a survey, security on board ship costs minimum £8000 for private guards and USD 30000 for navy escorts – yet another huge investment by the shipping industry which is constantly on the rise.
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3.   Complying Tier- II and III:  Recent spate of marine pollution incidents has led to tighter regulations regarding pollution at the sea. Pollution from oil spills and harmful emissions from ships have been the main reason for the increase in marine pollution. To control the effects of air pollution from the ship, the industry will now have to comply with Tier II, which puts an upper limit on SOx and NOx emissions coming from marine engine exhaust. This regulation will become more stringent by 2015 when Tier III comes into action. Shipping industry is contributing in its own way to reduce its carbon foot prints. Last few years have seen many new technologies and projects which help in reducing NOx , SOx, and Carbon emissions. Needless to say, massive investment is being considered for research and development of such systems.
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4.   Dual /Tri Fuel Engine Intelligent Engines and Scrubber Systems:  In order  to comply with the emission norms at several ports and coast lines, shipping companies are now opting for intelligent and low emission marine engines, which are driven by gas oil, heavy oil and LNG gas acting as dual/tri fuel engine. These engines are highly economical to operate when it comes to complying with MARPOL Annex VI for Air Pollution Prevention from Ships. Also to make sure that the ship engine’s emissions are cleaner, a huge amount of investment is also being seen in cleaning technology such as scrubber systems.
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5.   The Craze of Going Green: As the craze of going green spreads like never before, every company wants to make its mark as a “green eco friendly company”. Green shipping is one area which has seen the maximum of investment in R&D, concept design and ship construction, and technologies providing green source of energy. Investments in such projects have seen a constant rise in the past few years.
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6.   Ballast Water Treatment: While the Ballast Water Convention waits for implementation, several shipping companies have already started cleaning up their ballast tanks.  Moreover, several countries are imposing strict laws to protect their coastal marine life. This has lead to big investment in manufacturing IMO approved Ballast treatment systems and ballast management systems.
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7.   Navigation, Tracking and Locating System: To ensure an accident-free voyage of ships at high seas and also to track ships during distress situation or piracy, ship monitoring and tracking systems are extensively used. With several new regulations from IMO, navigating and operating systems of the ship are getting sophisticated each day. Moreover, investment in Internet and satellite calling and data transferring facilities has seen a sudden rise in the past few years.
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8.   Marine Insurance: With increase in global financial recession and sea piracy, the maritime industry has invested much more in insurance premium in the last decade when compared to that invested in early 90’s. Piracy at sea is one of the main reasons for the sudden demand of marine insurance in the last few years.
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These are some of the main areas in the shipping industry where heavy investments have been seen.
Do you know any more sectors seeing huge amount of money coming in?