Slow down and save – Container shipping fleet saves 30% per journey

I was intrigued by a ‘Tweet’ last week (thank you @greenforyou which led me to a post on, regarding changes made two years ago by the Danish shipping conglomerate Maersk.

The world of cargo shipping is, it seems, a cut-throat business with various carriers vying to get your shipments from a to b as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, this means running ships at full speed which is not the most fuel effiecient way of running these giant ships (or any other vehicle for that matter).

So Maersk decided to slow things down – a journey that used to take 3 weeks now takes a month but the saving in fuel – as much as 30% on a trip is paying off big-time.

And less fuel means the company is able to make substantial inroads on its co2 reduction targets.

I’d like to quote this passage from Treehugger: “According to the Times, Soren Stig Nielsen, Maersk’s director of environmental sustainability, says that slowing down is “a great opportunity to lower emissions ‘without a quantum leap in innovation’,” and he notes in presentations to clients that “Going at full throttle is economically and ecologically questionable.” And he’s right.”

Of course we all know (don’t we?) that by driving our cars at 55mph rather than 65mph, reduces emissions by 20% and saves fuel at the same time.

Do pop over to and read the full article. There’s also links to other stories that involve fuel savings made by slowing down.

photo credit: jdnx

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