RightShip Senior Sustainability Advisor, Tam Pham, explains our ports and terminals-focused Maritime Emission Portal

In this first of a new series focusing on ports and terminals around the world, we explore why RightShip has introduced a new Maritime Emissions Portal (the ‘portal’).

Can you share some background on why RightShip have launched this new solution?

Of course. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, shipping has a tremendous environmental impact in ports, as well as on those areas in the immediate vicinity of ports.

The environmental impact of ports can be divided into three subcategories:

  • problems caused by port activity itself,
  • problems caused at sea by ships calling at the port, and
  • emissions from inter-modal transport networks serving the port hinterland.

Impacts can include noise from ship engines and the machinery used for loading and unloading, exhaust particles like CO2, NOx and SOx from the ship’s main and auxiliary engines, and dust from the handling of substances such as grain, sand and coal.

Road and rail traffic to and from the port area can also cause additional environmental problems.

The ability to quantify air emissions more accurately from commercial vessels provides ports and terminals with the opportunity to address an industry knowledge gap, as well as satisfying growing stakeholder interest in maritime vessel emissions.

Ports and terminals also play a key role in the decarbonisation effort of the maritime industry. That's why RightShip developed the portal to support this market segment, providing the data and insights needed to decarbonise within port areas.

Using cutting-edge technologies such as Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) means that the data is live, and this makes it more versatile. It means we can heatmap the results and geo-fenced zones give ports and terminals visibility and transparency into their very own maritime air emission profile.

Vessels act differently in a port compared to a voyage. For example, while anchoring and loading and unloading cargo they have quite different emissions profiles. This is why our methodology is specific to in-port operations.

What does the Maritime Emissions Portal do?

The first sustainability data assessment tool of its type, it's the initial building block in a package of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) solutions that RightShip is developing for the ports and terminals sector. The portal has been designed to help port operators understand ship-based emissions, so they can then use that evidence to identify opportunities to better and more accurately reduce emissions.

This gives the port industry the opportunity to benchmark vessel emissions against other local emission sources.

In addition, it measures incremental improvements in emissions quality, likely to happen as a result of industry changes, such as the reduction in fuel sulphur levels (IMO 2020). The tool also helps ports consider a reduction in vessel emissions in line with government and industry emissions reduction targets.

How does it work?

The portal combines sophisticated AIS movement data and RightShip’s unique vessel insight data, identifying problem areas and opportunities to reduce environmental impact. It is easy to use and intuitive, giving highly visual, meaningful insights.

RightShip has used best practice guidelines to build and evaluate the portal, which monitors all vessel types and operating modes. Port authorities can use it to manage their emissions inventory and air quality through heatmaps and filters including ship type, age, point of interest and emissions type. Detailed reporting provides users with a clear path to action.

Highly interactive dashboards measure and report 14 emission and air pollutant types from all ocean-going and support vessels in port. Air emissions are monitored over time, and heatmaps show where the largest emissions are concentrated. Using innovative heatmap and zoning technology, the portal provides a clear analysis of the environmental profile of a port over any timeframe, enabling practical decisions to be made around managing emissions.

In summary, how would you outline the key features of the new portal?

It enables ports and terminals to:

  • Understand ship-based air emissions (through air quality) in and around their port.
  • Identify problem areas and opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, allowing timely and practical decisions around managing emissions.
  • Combine sophisticated data from a ship’s AIS with RightShip’s unique vessel insight data.
  • Access cutting-edge heatmap and zoning technology, giving a clear analysis of a port’s environmental shipping air emission profile over any time period.
  • Monitor the whole of a port, or an individual terminal.
  • Benchmark current vessel emissions against other local emission sources, measuring incremental improvements in emissions quality likely as a result of industry changes such as the reduction in fuel sulphur levels (i.e., IMO 2020) helps develop a feasible strategy to measure your impact and implement emission reduction solutions.
  • Identify opportunities to influence and facilitate a reduction in vessel emissions in line with government and industry emissions reductions targets.
  • Collaborate with industry bodies and regulators creating healthier, more resilient communities and protect the environment around their ports.

We hope this gives a quick introduction to RightShip’s new Maritime Emissions Portal.

Look out for future articles on how we at RightShip are helping our customers and the environment approach and solve these, and other, critical maritime issues.

Find out more here

Also read part 2: RightShip Senior Sustainability Adviser, Tam Pham, discusses why ports and terminals should use our Maritime Emissions Portal