12 of the world's largest carriers ready with environmental alliance

At a full-day meeting in Copenhagen hosted by Maersk Maritime Technology, representatives from 12 of the world's largest shipping companies have adopted the basis for the new Trident Alliance, which calls for increased sulphur controls.

A new ambitious network of carriers - the Trident Alliance - headed by, among others, Norwegian Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Maersk, the primary goal of which is to ensure meticulous control of the new and tightened sulphur requirements for ship fuel in Northern Europe that will come into force on January 1st 2015, is now close to becoming a reality.

Following a full-day meeting with representatives from a total of 12 carriers hosted by Maersk Maritime Technology in Copenhagen on Wednesday, the basis for the alliance has been negotiated into place. The meeting counted more carriers than otherwise mentioned a few weeks ago, where estimates said that 8-10 carriers would participate in the first meeting.

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"We principally agree to establish the Trident Alliance and we have formulated the basis for the alliance. We will now each of us present this basis to our respective companies, our legal team, just as it will need to be anchored among the CEO's of the companies. We've given ourselves two weeks for this process, after which we'll be able to announce the names of the members of the Trident Alliance," Roger Strevens, Vice President and Global Head of Environment at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, tells ShippingWatch:

"The meeting in Copenhagen was highly constructive and everyone agrees that the Trident Alliance is the right tool to handle this challenge. None of us want to see this evolve into a coffee club. This is an initiative that will get the work done."

Here are the principles behind the Trident Alliance

So far Wallenius Wilhelmsen and Maersk are the only names in the environmental alliance that have been made public, but carriers from Sweden, Germany, Japan, and South Korea are said to participate.

The EU's Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, along with the Danish Minister for the Environment, Kirsten Brosbøl, have voiced their support for the collaboration, which according to Niels Bjørn Mortensen, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Maersk Maritime Technology, could help ensure that some carriers are not tempted to commit fraud by opting not to use low sulphur fuel in regions where the new sulphur regulations are set to come into force.

And Kirsten Brosbøl believes the alliance could make a difference:

"I absolutely believe that this will make a difference, when several major carriers join forces to call for increased control of shipping in national and international waters. Denmark is already working toward making all countries perform controls to ensure that shipping complies with the new sulphur regulation, so this is certainly going to benefit us. I look forward to hearing the alliance's proposals on how to make sure that the new sulphur regulations are respected by everyone. I also hope the alliance can help put a greener shipping industry on the global agenda."

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