Global shipping plays a crucial role in international trade, but it also contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Because the majority of ships are powered by fossil fuels, the shipping industry currently accounts for 2 to 3% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions — and that number could rise to 17% by 2050 if left unchecked.
One solution proposed is a green shipping corridor, which would help reduce carbon emissions both at sea and at key ports. As the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Shanghai are some of the largest ports in the world, they’ve joined together with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) to establish the Trans-Pacific Green Shipping Corridor.
What is a green shipping corridor?
According to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a green shipping corridor (GSC) is “a shipping route on which zero-carbon emissions ships and other emissions reduction programs are deployed, and emissions reductions are measured and enabled through public and private actions and policies.”
Establishing GSCs aligns with commitments made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13, which aims to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by cutting shipping emissions.
The revised IMO net-zero strategy includes plans to ensure the uptake of alternative net-zero and near-zero fuels by 2030 and to reach net-zero GHG emissions from international shipping around 2050.
The plan for the Trans-Pacific Green Shipping Corridor
The ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Shanghai are all key components of one of the world’s busiest container shipping routes in the Pacific. These ports have joined together with C40 to create the first-ever green shipping corridor across the Pacific.
The plan for the Trans-Pacific GSC impacts all areas of the corridor, including:
- Wharfs, yards, and gates at the ports
- The crossing between ports
- Terminal operations, including cargo-handling equipment such as yard tractors
Who will participate?
The implementation of the GSC relies upon voluntary collaboration between carriers, ports, and cargo owners.
In 2025, the project’s carrier partners will begin deploying reduced- and zero-carbon ships, with the goal of increasing the utilization of zero-carbon ships over time. Cargo owner partners will increasingly contract with these carriers and support policy measures that will enable that infrastructure to become cost-competitive, while port partners will facilitate investment in and development of clean marine fueling infrastructure to reduce carbon emissions from terminal operations.
All stakeholders will communicate tangible goals, track and share metrics to evaluate progress and provide improvement plans as needed.
Greener ports are in our future
With more focus than ever on the need to slow climate change, the shipping industry must participate in GHG reduction strategies. The Trans-Pacific GSC and similar marine environmental policy projects can create a positive impact — while still maintaining efficiency and meeting customers’ shipping needs.
Looking for a transportation and logistics partner at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles? GlobeCon has over 35 years of experience with drayage, trucking, and warehousing.