Fuel consumption is still the major cost driver in shipping. Areas in ship design and machinery must be identified where savings can be made to create competitive advantages.
Slow steaming has become a general measure in shipping today to reduce the fuel bills, but going slow will only cut costs but will not provide savings. Overcapacity in tonnage, reduction in freight volumes and extremely low freight rates have put extreme pressures on ship owners. For this reason the industry has to invest into cleaner and more energy efficient (e.g. LNG fuelled) vessels for lower operating costs soonest!
Nowadays, new investments can be made with very low interest rates, having in mind that LNG bunkering facilities especially for smaller vessels grow rapidly.
The costs to ship a container are mainly influenced by the fuel bills, because personnel costs, maintenance costs, canal fees, capital costs, etc. are of lesser impact and cannot be influenced by ship design anyway.
Today LNG as a marine fuel is a proven and available solution with available technologies to meet the ISO/MARPOL requirements now and in future. There are already 17 LNG-prepared and classed STREAM Type ships in operation.