Visual Capitalist published an article about new environmental regulations which will increase the cost of maritime shipping. Given that “over 90% of all global trade takes place on our oceans,” this will likely have an effect on consumer prices.

“The International Maritime Organization (IMO) – the UN agency responsible for ensuring a clean, safe, and efficient global shipping industry – will be implementing new regulations that will have massive impact on maritime shipping… The regulations, dubbed IMO 2020, will enforce a 0.5% sulfur emissions cap worldwide starting January 1, 2020 ─ a dramatic decrease from the current emissions cap of 3.5%.”

“Diesel, a low-sulfur fuel oil, will be in higher demand and should see a price increase” Presumably this will increase diesel prices for trucks, too.

“Large ships might burn 280-300 metric tons of high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) a day at high speeds, but only 80-90 metric tons a day at slower speeds… Slower travel may cut costs and help reduce emissions, but it also decreases the capacity these vessels can transport due to longer travel times, which shrinks overall profit margins.”

Bottom line: “The short-term impact is almost certainly going to mean higher freight rates for the marine shipping industry.”

“In a full compliance scenario, we estimate the total impact to consumer wallets in 2020 could be around US$240 billion. ─ Goldman Sachs”

The article contains an info-graphic with lots of data points, including: “The 15 largest ships in the world produce more sulfur emissions than all of the world’s cars combined.” The article does not compare pollution per pound of freight with other transportation modes.

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