Born To Run

This is a sample of what the maritime journals are sending to their confused readers.

“Slow steaming certainly garners its fair share of press, but in reality, how prevalent is it?” is how one authoritative writer begins his article. Then he provides us with some data obtained from a “study” conducted by a noted manufacturer of Diesel engines.

“In overview,” the reporter states, “the study found that the overwhelming reason for adopting slow steaming was the promise of fuel savings (cited by 94.7% of those adopting the method) …

“While much talk in the industry today revolves around the reduction of emissions from ships, it clearly was a secondary concern to fuel consumption and costs …

“While fuel savings was the primary driver, the survey found that better utilization of existing fleet capacity also played a significant role in the decision to adopt slow steaming …”

So that other 5.3% – those concerned with emissions, fuel consumption, costs and capacity utilization – is what the author calls “significant”?

Back on June 3, 2011, in our Vol. XXVII, Art. 29 commentary, we wrote:

“If you’re not convinced by this time that ‘slow steaming’ is just another hoax – just another sure-fire way to bleed the taxpayer/consumer – read what Lloyd’s Register says about the stratagem. In dismissing the ‘slow steaming’ concept as costly and harmful to the environment, the marine classification society told Marine TV:

“‘Containerships are built to operate at higher outputs and will need to be more closely monitored when slow steaming to avoid loss of engine performance, fuel quality, and lubrication oil consumption when moving below 20 knots. The large containership is designed for 25 knots at 70,000kw main engine power and will require just 50 percent power when reduced to 20 knots. As voyage times increase, fuel savings will be less, and at slower speeds Nox emissions also increase, resulting in waste engine capacity, higher capital costs from unused power potential, losses in heat recovery systems, turbocharger and propeller efficiency as well as increased fouling of hulls and propellers. Lloyd’s Register also warned of increased compensatory fuel consumption and possible vibration levels risking safe, reliable ship operations.’ –

“Carriers should quit lying to us. There are no benefits or profits to pass on. The only things being passed on are the extra costs incurred by the arrogant ‘slow steaming’ stratagem. The real reason for ‘slow steaming’ is to avoid scrapping the overcapacity which resulted from mismanagement and the ‘corporate fanning of feathers’. Let’s call a spade a spade. ‘Slow stealing’ is what it is.”

Emissions? Fuel consumption? Costs? Need more proof that these guys are liars?