Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shipping Lines Receive POLB Environmental Awards

Twenty shipping lines that have engaged in efforts to improve air quality locally by slowing down or deploying cleaner vessels – or both – were honored by the Port of Long Beach during the port’s annual Green Flag and Green Ship awards luncheon May 30.

Long Beach created its Green Flag Program in 2005, and as of 2012 almost 96 percent of all ships calling at Long Beach slowed to 12 knots within 20 nautical miles of the port.

In 2009, the port added a 40 nautical mile option and as of last year, more than 83 percent of vessels slowed from 40 nautical miles, therefore burning less fuel and generating less pollution. Thirteen shipping lines were found to be top performers in 2012, earning Green Flags this year. An additional 10 shipping lines received the first Green Ship awards, a program that since July 2012 has encouraged vessel operators to assign the cleanest ships to Long Beach. Three companies – Hanjin Shipping, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and Orient Overseas Container Line – collected both Green Flags and Green Ship awards during the luncheon.

“These fleets are the top performers in an industry that is working to reduce its environmental impact,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Susan E. Anderson Wise said.

Since the launch of the ship-slowing program in 2005, more than 200 vessel operators have been awarded Green Flags and qualified for reductions on dockage fees. The port says the program has been instrumental in helping it decrease diesel pollution from all port-related operations by 75 percent since 2005.

Green Flag participants were awarded $2.5 million in dockage fee discounts in 2012 as part of the program. And since the Green Ship Program began in July 2012, the port has awarded $135,000 in incentives.

The full list of 2013 Green Flag and Green Ship award recipients can be seen at: http://www.polb.com/news/displaynews.asp?NewsID=1175&TargetID=1.