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C02 emissions

co2 emissions

Shipping - the low carbon carrier

We see shipping as part of the solution to the issue of reducing emissions of the global warming gas carbon dioxide. 

This is because shipping produces fewer greenhouse gases per tonne-mile than other forms of transport, as ships need relatively little energy to push huge loads through the water that supports them. 

None of our ships carries just leisure travellers.  Our ships are either multi-purpose, carrying freight goods and tourists, or dedicated freight ferries carrying only goods vehicles and containers.

With 90% of the UK’s trade by sea, it is not surprising that freight comprises the vast majority of the payloads we carry. For example, on an average day our six ships on the Dover – Calais service carry in the region of 160,000 tonnes of freight.  A fuel-thirsty jumbo jet struggles with a payload much over 100 tonnes.

Also, the medium speed engines in our fleet of conventional ferries are extremely efficient.  Even excess heat they produce is put to good use, for hot water, pre-heating fuel for better combustion, and heating crew and passenger accommodation.

To minimise our carbon dioxide emissions our captains pay very close attention to route planning according to the tide, current, wind and wave conditions at any given time.  By working ships with the prevailing conditions wherever possible we make a significant difference to the amount of fuel used. On our Dover – Calais service alone, we estimate that careful passage planning saves fuel worth £3 million a year, reflecting the very real financial as well as environmental interest we have in reducing fuel consumption.