The briefing on the maritime forecast to 2050

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

News in numbers


Of shipping energy will be from carbon-neutral fuels by 2050


Expected growth in trade over the period 2030–2050


Of all ships from mid-century onwards will be powered by electric battery


The year when the 0.5% the International Maritime Organization global sulphur cap comes into effect


By then, DNV GL predicts that international regulations for autonomous ships could be in place

76tn tonne-miles

Expected transport demand in 2050, a reduction from the current 84tn today

In quotes

Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL, writing in the introduction of the Maritime Forecast to 2050 report:

As we head toward 2050, our industry still faces considerable uncertainty in changing markets, regulatory changes, new technologies, and the effects of digitalization. In the past, we have mainly had to deal with changing ship sizes and cargoes, but not radically different designs, digital technologies, engines, and fuels.

The Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, on the launch of Maritime 2050, a long term strategy to secure the future of the UK maritime sector:

We must, and will, challenge ourselves to think differently and radically. We will look to those of you working within the sector to help us do that. I also want to cast our net wider. We need to take into account the views of those of you who rely on the maritime sector for success in your own businesses that need ships and ports to keep your products moving efficiently and productively.

Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, speaking during the IMO 70 Forum this year:

Since its beginning, IMO has worked to ensure that the people of the world can continue to benefit from shipping in a manner that meets the needs of the global economy, but also changing expectations about safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and so on. Looking ahead, we are already beginning to expand and widen our areas of interest and influence still further. The quest for sustainable development, for example, is now at the heart of so much that the United Nations family is seeking to achieve; and, as a very proud and active member of that family, we are also fully engaged in those efforts.

Electrification – maybe that’s a black swan. Maybe by 2050 we will have found a way to include decarbonized electricity within the maritime sector. That would be transformational.

Top stories

Ports announce climate change initiative

A group of the world’s leading port authorities have announced the launching of the World Ports Climate Action Programme, an international initiative aimed at fighting climate change. The programme will focus on accelerating the development of commercially viable sustainable low carbon fuels for maritime transport and infrastructure for electrification of ship propulsion systems. The agreement will also concentrate on pursuing efforts to fully decarbonize cargo-handling facilities in ports, and research other renewable solutions.

Source: Port Technology

The world’s first ocean clean-up system officially launched

Non-profit organization Ocean Cleanup announced the launch of the world’s first ocean clean-up system from the San Francisco Bay. The system is designed to be propelled by wind and waves, allowing it to passively catch and concentrate plastic debris in front of it. Due to its shape, the debris will be funnelled to the centre of the system. Moving slightly faster than the plastic, the system will act like a giant Pac-Man, skimming the surface of the ocean.

Source: Safety4Sea

DNV GL launches the Alternative Fuels Insight platform

DNV GL developed the Alternative Fuel Insight (AFI) platform to support the shipping industry’s transition to a cleaner, green future. It provides a complete overview on developments of alternative fuels and technologies, covering both investments on ships and in bunkering infrastructure. A core aim is to improve clarity for a range of stakeholders allowing them to make informed decisions. It will assist ship owners select a fuel for the vessels they order today and in coming years, and fuel suppliers weighing up investment in new bunkering infrastructure.

Source: DNV GL

ING to redirect financing towards greener shipping

ING announced it would start redirecting part of its €500bn portfolio towards meeting the Paris Agreement’s well-below two-degree goal. Their efforts will also focus on shipping as one of the sectors where the most greenhouse gas emissions come from.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

Wärtsilä to build €200m Smart Technology Hub in Finland

Wärtsilä has announced plans to build a next-generation innovation and production centre, Smart Technology Hub, in Vaasa, Finland, with an investment of €200m. Scheduled to be opened in 2020, the Smart Technology Hub will be developed to facilitate more efficient testing and development of solutions for maritime, oil and gas industries, as well as new energy systems. The company plans to spend €83m in advanced testing and production technology to be installed at the hub.

Source: Ship Technology