The pollution generated by cargo ships with their heavy or intermediate fuels, which carry tons for their journeys, is well known. But also for your work and navigation maneuvers.




6000 km less is what Asian ships save through the Arctic.

With more than 100 million tons mobilized, this represents 40% of the current traffic.


These data are constantly increasing, maritime logistics is part of the contamination and destruction of the Arctic ecosystem.

The accumulation of emissions, spills due to the scarce control in the area accelerate the process of thawing of the ice.

This not only affects the visual of a beautiful landscape, but also destroys flora that is home to unique fauna.




For a long time the IMO has been trying to provide nonsensical solutions, due to the LACK OF KNOWLEDGE in environmental matters in which they “make water”.


The acceleration of global warming is increased by these practices and the lack of solutions.


Reducing sulfur from January 1, 2020, I do not solve anything and I add costs are solutions to shipping companies that must take care of doing their job well (already complex and with rigorous penalties for delays).

But the real mistake is in taking the maritime industry as 3% of global emissions, which is considered a meaningless collective and generic calculation of the global cumulative among all industries.




It is known in the Climate Change sector that Scope 3 is the most complex to correct.

The way to calculate the emissions of the industry must be analyzed by the cost of the route (×) (kilometers of the section or hours of navigation, from where a product is collected until it is delivered to the final port).


We will call this load of emissions (y) (it will be the accumulated amount that is added indirectly to a product manufactured by a company from another sector), which is paid to have its products transferred to it.



To cite an example, let’s think about how much emissions each unit of an iPhone 14 generates when producing it, (here I have the answer).

The iPhone 14: produces 61 kg of CO2 emissions, only in its manufacture.

“But these figures have been underestimated since in reality 313 kg are the estimated emissions in 4 years of use.”


How Many Iphone 14s Were Made?


96 million phones were built with an overall direct charge of 5.6 trillion tons of CO2.

Looking at the figures above, it’s clear that taking responsibility for our products at every stage is essential if we hope to recoup some of the damage cell phone production is causing to the global environment.




The average maritime transport consumes from 250 to 350 liters of intermediate fuel oil. (Public data from Technoton hardware, which is implemented in the world through Wialon “fuel control in cargo ships”).

The established average times of the delay will be (w) that from Shanghai to Los Angeles are 15 to 20 days. 

If we take 20 days and multiply it by the 24 hours that a day has, it gives us 480 hours of navigation.


We are going to multiply this result by (y) the liters of consumption of the boat per hour (navigation only).

So 480 hours times 300 liters per hour is 144 tons = 2.880 metric tons of intermediate fuel oil that releases 0.777 kilos per ton.


This means that for each trip from Shanghai to Los Angeles, 2.238 tons of CO2 are emitted.



The Consequences

The pollution produced by this transport sector goes more unnoticed because to a large extent it happens on the high seas, but for coastal areas and port cities, maritime traffic is a particularly important source of air pollution, and therefore a serious threat to public health and the environment. 

In fact, according to various scientific studies, the European Commission estimates that air pollutant emissions from ships cause 50.000 premature deaths and 60.000 million euros in healthcare costs each year in the European Union.




At the Institute for Environmental Diagnosis and Water Studies (CSIC), in Barcelona, ​​his team measured a group of substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: “They are produced above all during the burning of oil and coal. When combustion is incomplete, that is, that does not burn well, these hydrocarbons are generated”.


Every month, some 90,000 tons of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons reach the oceans from the atmosphere, that is, four times more than those generated by the spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered the largest in history.




Regarding carbon dioxide emission factors, intermediate fuel oil generates 77.4 tons of CO2/TJ, well above the emission factors for CNG and other gaseous fuels that revolve around 50 tons.


The definition (TJ) is equal to one trillion joules;  or about 0.278 GWh (usually used in energy tables).


For example, “the atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima released about 63 TJ of energy.”



To solve the CO2 emissions charges, the calculation is as follows, taking the iPhone as an example.

22.000 iPhones enter a 20-foot container (TEU).

In other words, the 2.880 tons per trip means that a container ship with 4

400 TEUs of cargo enters the 96 million telephones manufactured.


That is to say that due to transfers, 2.880 tons of CO2 are increased by the intermediate fuel fuel oil.

96 million divided by 2.880 tons of fuel used in an average trip, adds 33.33 kilograms of additional cargo to the phone due to transportation.

Which means that shipping adds 54.9% extra CO2 emissions to the phone.




It is time for companies to start hiring Supply Environmental Advisors to build real strategies in the immediate, medium and long term.

That adapt to the needs and tools of each moment.

Reducing emissions without raising costs is possible, even more so the solutions lie in reducing costs and EMISSIONS.