The port of Rotterdam welcomed the newest cargo container vessel built by global shipping giant Evergreen this month. The sea container ship named Ever Lambent is part of the Far East to Europe fleet owned by Evergreen Marine.

Ever Lambent is the first in a series of sea shipping container vessels commissioned to be built by the company over the next few years. The new generation of more environmentally friendly ships will be responsible for lower levels of carbon emissions due to more efficient fuel usage.

Container ships have a life span of around 30 years so as well as the building of a new generation ships a number of shipping lines are installing modern technology to their older vessels in a move to improve energy efficiency across fleets. According to the Word Shipping Council there has been a 35% gain in sea container ship fuel efficiency between the years of 1985 and 2008.

Rotterdam Port Incentivises Greener Ships

In November 2011 Rotterdam harbour incentivised the use of greener sea container ships by offering a 5% reduction in harbour charges to vessels which met the more environmentally friendly criteria set by the port.  Whilst this might seem like a small percentage the dollar amount is a sizable incentive to the shipping lines who pay many tens of thousands in fees each time one of their ships use the harbour.

The Port of Rotterdam is Europe’s largest cargo port and was the world’s busiest until 2004 when Shanghai and later Singapore took the lead. Based on TEU (20 foot equivalent unit) volume Rotterdam held the position of world’s 10th largest cargo port in 2010.

Se Shipping Container Infographic

With sea shipping containers being such an integral part of global trade supply the continued development of more environmentally friendly technology will be welcome as the industry grows.

Commentators have said that we are likely to see more energy efficient ships being built since together with positive environmental impact there are clear economic rewards also on offer to the shipping lines.


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