A new emissions index has been developed by independent shipping platform SHIPNEXT in a bid to address industry concerns about the emissions reduction measures from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Cargo is at the heart of the new SHIPNEXT emissions index, which has been designed for vessels carrying breakbulk, dry bulk, heavy and oversized shipments in consultation with ship owners, according to Alexander Varvarenko, CEO and Founder, SHIPNEXT.

"The SHIPNEXT Voyage Emission Index (SVEI) is based on the individual technical parameters of the vessel, its speed, consumption and intake whilst also taking into consideration the actual cargo quantity and the intended voyage," says an official release.

SVEI considers the ship’s fuel consumption at sea to reflect the work of the particular vessel, the release added. "Fuel consumption in the port is ignored since such consumption is comparable for most ships and the time of loading and discharging is determined mainly by port technology, not by the technical capabilities of the vessel."

The SHIPNEXT Carbon Intensity Indicator (SCII) is proposed as an alternative to IMO’s CII rating, which seeks to measure the efficiency of a vessel above 5,000 GT. The IMO also intends to give vessels a performance score between A-D with criteria becoming increasingly stringent by 2030.

Carriers including Maersk have complained that the IMO CII fails to incentivise cargo optimisation, and have instead called for a methodology that rewards more productive vessels. "SCII has been designed to do just that," the release said.

Varvarenko says: “The major problem with the existing IMO guidelines is that they do not take into consideration the cargo actually being carried on a voyage. When you do so, the emissions profile of a given voyage changes completely.”

SHIPNEXT modelling shows how an older, higher emitting ship, if managed properly and laden to full capacity, can prove to be the "greener" solution when compared to a more modern ship that’s producing more carbon dioxide because it is on a longer voyage.

Varvarenko adds: “Our approach stimulates owners to manage their vessels more efficiently with fewer ballast runs while also continuing to follow all the other existing emissions indexes that are imposed on them around vessel construction. There has to be logic to how shipping lines are taxed for their emissions. What we are proposing is a fair and reasonable approach during the transition to cleaner shipping, which allows both shippers and carriers to share the costs.”

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