Regulated slow steaming in maritime transport

Vessel speed reduction, or “slow steaming,” is both a real-world industry trend and a potential avenue for new policy. Researchers at CE-Delft, the University of Southampton, and the ICCT sought to explore the costs and benefits of slow-steaming policies, and the legal and policy issues they raise. The analysis indicates that vessel speed reduction on the order of 10% (e.g., from 20 knots to 18 knots) results in an approximate 19% reduction in cargo-hauling fuel consumption after accounting for the reduced shipping speed and the associated loss in shipping time. The assessment suggests that such policies would have substantial economic benefits and reduce both petroleum consumption emissions, but would also reduce market flexibility and have impacts on inventory, logistics, and supply-chain management.