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Questioning the effectiveness of the Maritime Industry’s sustainability initiatives in the age of Black Friday

Executive Summary:

This piece aims at highlighting the intensified trade flows between China and the US during the Black Friday period, and the environmental consequences it has. Specifically, it looks at the Yantian-Los Angeles trade route and the environmental profile of a typical containership on that journey.

Key findings:

  • Examining the characteristics of a typical containership used during a Black Friday trade between China and the US proves to be at odds with sustainability initiatives
  • Only 2% of the distance covered by ships in the Yantian - LA trade route is under Emission Control Areas (ECA) status, which means that for most of the journey ships are not required to minimize airborne sulphur emissions
  • Such journey ran on residual fuel releases 5,374 tonnes of CO₂, or the equivalent of running 1,141 cars or 620 houses for a year


Posted 30 April 2020 by Alice Gladen, Subject Matter Expert, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit and

Kristy Asseily, Senior Product Management Analyst, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit


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