PREPARING FOR THE FUTURE:
Importing and exporting by ocean is a major element of many businesses around the world. Do you own, operate or have a stake in a business that exports products overseas by container, using freight forwarding or other international shipping services?
If the answer is yes, then you might be interested in today’s blog post about how climate change, global warming and the greenhouse effect may impact your business. Maybe sooner than you think. As with many blogs, we feel information is one of the best commodities you can have to help you build a business. In this case prepare for a changing world.
Would you like some more information? Here are some more articles written to help organizations that export using ocean freight services, air freight services, distribution & warehousing services:
- How Can I Get An Ocean Freight Shipping Rate Quote?
- Ocean Freight Services vs. Air Freight Services
- Most Frequently Asked Questions About Overseas Shipping
HOW CLIMATE CHANGE WILL AFFECT OCEAN SHIPPING:
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. With all the discussions taking place about climate change and global warming, it just makes sense to stop and consider how changes in ocean behavior, currents, temperatures and forecasts may affect your ocean freight operation now or in the future.
Here are some of the considerations we recommend:
Consideration 1: Ports & Channels
The fact is that current ports and shipping channels are already being effected. These changes are being described as changes in sea levels as well as significant changes in erosion and sedimentary patterns. New shipping routes are already being planned, especially in and around the North Pole because of the increase in melting sea ice. Mineral exploitation and fishing is also already changing from decreasing polar ice.
Consideration 2: Changes In The Northwest Passage
Currently the Northwest Passage in rarely navigable. Maybe in the summer time every 5 years or so. However, this is changing as the planet continues to warm. The summer ice is melting at a blistering pace. As bad as this could potentially be for so many weather systems and related natural events, it could open up very lucrative shipping lanes between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. We can also point out that these changes in general will have both negative and positive effects on shipping. While coastal ports will be at a higher risk, new shipping lanes may make shipping times and expense lower.
Consideration 3: Rising Sea Levels
According to one of the latest IPCC reports (an international committee tasked by the UN in 1988 to summarize climate change facts) the oceans are getting warmer. When sea water warms, it also expands causing this rise in ocean levels. This is important for a number of reasons but for this article we wish to point out that the rise in sea levels put not only coastal settlements at a larger risk for flooding but some of the worlds biggest cities and ports will also be at an increased risk of flooding.
Consideration 4: New Opportunities
If you consider the decreasing sea ice, you may envision a possibility of new ocean freight business simply because currently it’s surface or road shipping that accounts for the majority of freight movements in many regions. Therefore, as the sea ice decreases there will be less need for the cost and risk that comes along with using ice breaker ships to clear various ocean pathways. There may be an expansion in ocean shipping capabilities that will solve needs that over the road hauling can not.
Consideration 5: Required Changes In Ship Design
Here we have 2 factors to consider that will make it important to plan for significant design changes for our ocean vessels. The first is the changing weather. Predictions now include increases in frequency and intensity in tropical storms and cyclones, especially in tropical waters. These intensified storms will have their effect on the durability and other factors that go into ocean vessel design and engineering. The second but related consideration here is wave climate changes. Hull girder collapse is a very real risk that will only increase with the changes expected in size and frequency of the ocean’s waves as the environmental changes continue.
Scientists are now 95% sure that the global warming around the world has taken a grip on this planet since 1950 has been caused by humans. If this is actually true or not will always up for debate but the truth that can’t be ignored and that is the world’s oceans are getting warmer. With the increase in temperature comes energy in the form of expansion. We know that sea water is rising because of this warming and the international shipping industry will need to be prepared. Stay informed, keep reading this type of material and you can slowly make needed changes now and begin to prepare for change and opportunity down the road.
Ocean exporting will be important in our ever evolving business world. A good international shpping partner will have these realities as part of thier own plans and will share these new opportunities with their client base. Our advise is and always will be the same for any organization that exports product overseas. Be sure to partner with an experienced internation shipping company and freight forwarder. For a no obligation rate quote or to continue your research, just use the button below.